A US$250,000 ticket for a rocket ride to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere also gets you a customized one-piece flight suit akin to those worn by characters in Star Trek, plus a training suit, jacket, boots and special underwear. Athletic apparel maker Under Armour designed the outfit, unveiled Wednesday by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson at an event that featured dancers in a skydiving chamber demonstrating the garments’ flexibility. (CNBC)
Talking point: Branson told reporters he believes “the whole experience of going to space should be sexy.” For the high price, which will get passengers about 10 minutes of weightlessness, it needs to be. Though Virgin’s progress is years behind schedule, it said it is now in the late stages of testing its spacecraft, and expects to begin commercial flights next year. As of June, it claimed a waiting list of over 600 customers. Virgin Galactic is also anticipated to be the first company of its kind to go public, with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange expected before year’s end. A March report from UBS estimated the space tourism sector could be worth US$3 billion by 2030.