Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. announced on 25 Febrary 2020 that in preparation for the re-opening of spaceflight sales, it is introducing the One Small Step initiative. The company formally closed its doors to new ticket sales after its history-making first space flight in December 2018.
In addition to more than 600 firm reservations it has already taken from future astronaut customers from 60 countries, Virgin Galactic has received a consistently high level of interest from aspiring astronauts. This has resulted in 7,957 online reservation registrations in the fourteen months since the first spaceflight and more than double the number the company last reported in September 2019.
In light of continuing, strong progress towards commercial service, Virgin Galactic is now preparing to release its next tranche of seats for sale to the general public. In the first phase of that process, the company launched its new One Small Step qualification process on 26 February 2020, allowing those who are serious about flying to space to register now and be at the front of line for firm seat reservations, once they become available.
To take One Small Step, future flyers will pay a fully refundable deposit of US$1,000 in a simple online registration process available on the Virgin Galactic website.
Commenting on the new initiative, Stephen Attenborough, Virgin Galactic’s Commercial Director said: “We have been greatly encouraged by the ongoing and increasing demand seen from around the world for personal spaceflight. One Small Step allows us to help qualify and build confidence in our direct sales pipeline, as well as to ensure that those who are most keen to make reservations, are able to do so at the earliest opportunity”.
Virgin Galactic has not yet announced detailed timing or cost information in respect of the next set of seats to be released.
When new seats are released by Virgin Galactic, they will be offered first to Small Step registrants, allowing them to make the One Giant Leap to a confirmed spaceflight reservation and gain full membership of the Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut Community.