China to start space tourism by 2025, tickets to cost upwards of $287K
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has announced that they hope to be launching space tourism flights as early as 2025, with a focus on brief suborbital rides that would take passengers up on a short joy ride and bring them back to Earth.
Reported by Chinese government-run media outlet CGTN, Yang Yiqiang, a senior rocket scientist who has worked with CNSA and founded private firm CAS Space, said there will be three different types of space travel.
The first flights would go to the Chinese space station, currently under construction, and would have high barriers for the physical and psychological condition of tourists. The second will take passengers into space on a cargo aircraft used to lift another spacecraft to release altitude, similar to what Virgin Galactic once offered for around $450,000 per seat.
The third, which the CNSA is focusing on, is sub-orbital travel which is most suited to everyday passengers. The agency plans to charge between 2-3 million yuan per seat ($287,200-$430,800).
These flights would be similar to the ones offered by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, which is currently leading the space tourism market with three successful flights this year. In their 10-minute trips, the Blue Origin flights touch the Karman Line, or an altitude of 100 km, which is considered the start of space.
Compared to the CNSA's plans, it was reported last year that Blue Origin auctioned off seats on their maiden flight for up to $28 million.