Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Marketing Space Tourism

This week, marketing dynamo Sir Richard Branson is showcasing his Virgin Galactic space tourism business at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Branson predicts that his SpaceShipTwo will take tourists into suborbital space starting in 2014, for a price of only $200,000 per ride. More than 500 people have submitted a deposit to hold their place for a two-hour ride 60 miles up, including a few minutes of weightlessness.

Space tourism has attracted the attention of another famous entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame. His Blue Origin startup (rocket at left) is working to "lower the cost of spaceflight" so more people can have an out-of-this-world experience. Blue Origin is taking a lower profile approach than Virgin Galactic, so little is known about its target dates or pricing.

When Virgin's SpaceShipTwo blasts off for its inaugural flight, Branson and his two adult children will be aboard, making news and history at the same time. "It'll certainly be the most momentous moment of my life and my children's lives," Branson told CNN. "It'll be very difficult to ever cap it I think." I couldn't agree more. I hope space tourism becomes a reality in the near future!

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