Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. still plans to make its first commercial space-tourism flight this year and took a step toward resuming ticket sales for jaunts expected to cost upward of $250,000.
In the meantime, prospective space tourists will be able to make a deposit to save a place in line.
Calling it the “One Small Step” initiative, the company announced it will begin accepting deposits on Wednesday through its website. Those who pay the fully-refundable $1,000 deposit will be the first offered reservations for spaceflights when Virgin Galactic re-opens ticket sales.
“We have been greatly encouraged by the ongoing and increasing demand seen from around the world for personal spaceflight,” Virgin Galactic’s Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough said in a statement.
Since its founding in 2004, the company has 603 reservations on its books – with the majority sold for between $200,000 and $250,000 per person.
Ticket sales have essentially been frozen since a Virgin Galactic crash in 2014 killed a pilot during a test flight. After updating its spacecraft, and spending the last few years verifying its safety, Virgin Galactic has flown five people to space on two successful test flights.