Space tourism weathers the economy

Yesterday a Canadian travel agency who is accredited to sell flights on Virgin Galactic held a press conference to provide an update on Virgin’s activities, with the message that, despite the economy, people are still interested in, and willing to pay for, suborbital spaceflights, as the Toronto Star reports today. That’s not too surprising if you’ve been following the industry, but it’s good to see it confirmed by some of Virgin’s own customers. Carolyn Wincer, head of astronaut sales at Virgin Galactic, said that commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo would begin in 2010 or “more likely 2011″, and by then (presumably), the economy will have rebounded anyway.

(Disclosure: I’m quoted in the article.)

1 comment to Space tourism weathers the economy

  • They’re willing to put down deposits which, for many, are business investments that have benefits for the individuals (cache, networking opps, etc.). Not the same as paying for flights.

    My guess is that they would have sold more tickets if not for the sinking economy and if they could put forth flight dates to any degree of accuracy. Just getting WhiteKnightTwo flying has probably led to a spike of interest.

    But, as you say, the economic storm may pass by the time Virgin finally starts flying commercially.

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