Virgin Galactic and XCOR have combined to sell 855 tickets for suborbital space rides, according to media reports today.
In an appearance before the Aero Club of Washington, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said his company has sold 625 reservations worth $125 million in deposits. Meanwhile, Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) has reservations for about 230 flights of XCOR’s Lynx suborbital space plane.
While XCOR has been busy building its first Lynx spacecraft in Mojave this summer, things have been ramped up in another hot spot, Curacao, where the plan for commercial suborbital space flights in 2014 is coming together.
Space Expedition Curacao (formerly Space Experience Curacao) has sold 34 tickets and expects to reach 50 sales by the end of the year. Ticket holders include Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes, four-time DJ of the Year Armin van Buuren, and San Francisco Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulen. Charles Lurio of The Lurio Report says that total ticket sales for Lynx Mark I and II flights are approaching 100.
Lurio also reports that SXC and XCOR have finalized the wet lease that will allow the Lynx March II production vehicle to fly from the Caribbean island.
You would think that for San Francisco Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulen, nothing could top the excitement of winning a World Series ring last year. But, he’s setting his sights on something even higher: a trip to space.
Meulen is one of 15 Founder Astronauts who have booked flights with Space Experience Curacao, which will begin suborbital tourism flights from his home island of Curacao in 2014. Muelen, who was born on the Caribbean island, will fly aboard an XCOR Lynx vehicle that is now under development in Mojave, Calif.
“Americans are crazy about space travel, but for Curacao this is also a great initiative. In terms of tourism, but also because of all the social and educational projects that will be set up on the island,” he said in a press release.
Dutch airlines KLM will handle ticket sales and promotions for Lynx suborbital flights out of CuraÃ§ao, according to media reports. KLM has registered for the first flight from the island in the Dutch Antilles, which is set for 2014. The company will enable frequent fliers to put their points toward flights into space. The flights, which will go to an altitude of 100 kilometers, are being managed by Space Experience CuraÃ§ao under a “wet lease” agreement with California-based XCOR.
This is a significant step forward for XCOR, an engineering-focused company that has had difficulty with its marketing and promotional operations. It has pre-sold a small number of tickets, many of them to the company’s investors.
A big shout out to Clark Lindsey at Hobby Space for finding this story.