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Five Companies Hoping to Get You Into Space Soon


SpaceShipTwo  

Virgin Galactic

Founder: Sir Richard Branson
Start date: 2013
Ticket price: $200,000
The two-hour flight begins with being taxied by the world’s largest composite aircraft up to 50,000 feet. Then, the SS2 rockets higher, reaching suborbital Earth at a maximum velocity of Mach 3.5 before gliding to the ground.






Lynx Mark II  

XCOR Aerospace

Founder: Jeff Greason
Start date: Likely 2014
Ticket price: $95,000
The Lynx fits only two passengers—the pilot and a tourist—and flies for slightly more than 30 minutes. It will reach apogee in the flight’s first seven minutes and then glides downward in a circular pattern, landing in the same spot it launched.






Dragon  

SpaceX

Founder: Elon Musk
Start date: 2015
Ticket price: Unknown
The Dragon has already made two cargo-loading trips to the International Space Station. SpaceX plans to launch a manned ship in two years, thus expanding the reach of commercial space travel from suborbital to orbital.






New Shepard  

Blue Origin

Founders: Jeff Bezos
Start date: 2016-18
Ticket price: Unknown
An extremely secretive company operating from a privately owned spaceport in West Texas, Blue Origin appears to be launching a suborbital vehicle. Last fall, it successfully completed a launchpad- escape test.






Unknown  

Bigelow Aerospace

Founder: Robert Bigelow
Start date: Unknown
Reservation price: Unknown

Having recently landed an $18 million NASA contract to build a pod connecting to the ISS, the company is independently designing its own free-floating pods and studying moon-based commercial facilities.


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