Richard Branson to open ticket sales for space flights

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Richard Branson to open ticket sales for space flights

Milliardaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wears his astronaut's wings at a news conference at Spaceport America.

- Virgin Galactic said it will open ticket sales on Thursday for space flights starting at $450,000 a seat, weeks after billionaire founder Richard Branson's high-profile trip to the edge of space. Branson soared more than 50 miles above the New Mexico desert aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane on July 11 and safely returned in the vehicle's first fully crewed test flight to space, a symbolic milestone for a venture he started 17 years ago.

Shares of the company rose 5% in extended trading on Thursday.

Virgin Galactic received approval from the U.S. aviation safety regulator in June to fly people to space.

The company said it would have three consumer offering - a single seat, a multi seat package and a full flight buy out.

The firm's initial sales will open to the impressive list of early fundraisers, it said.