5 things to consider when planning your trip to space

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, First Commercial S
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft pictured in 2009 near Mojave, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

Pioneers in the realm of commercial space travel say they are close to launching their first flights for the general public, and the wealthy are shelling out enormous sums to get in line.

Private companies are also competing for contracts to serve the International Space Station, bringing astronauts and cargo to and from Earth.

The Daily Circuit touched base with Will Pomerantz of Virgin Glactic and journalist Michael Belfiore to gain a better understanding of travel on the newest frontier.

5 things to consider when planning your trip to space

  1. All tickets currently on the market will cost you more than $90,000. Prices are expected to drop as more players enter the market and flights are more frequent, but at least for the average American, space travel will never be an impulse buy.

  2. Two major players in the commercial space travel market -- Virgin Galactic and XCor Aerospace -- are hoping to launch their first flights this year.

  3. Companies are offering varying flight experiences, so it is worth it to shop around.

  4. Passengers will experience unencumbered weightlessness for a short time while in flight. On Virgin Galactic flights, this sensation will last about four to five minutes, during which passengers will be able to unfasten their seatbelts and float around the cabin.

  5. Though safety has been a top priority in engineering the aircraft, there is still risk involved. That risk will decline as the technology is tested over time.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.