By Poppy Harlow, CNN
It may sound absurd to pay $250,000 for one ticket to get on one aircraft, but that aircraft can take you into space. And if the FAA gives it the go ahead, Virgin Galactic is ready to start space tourism.
Who would spend up to a quarter million dollars for just minutes in space? More than 600 have signed on.
Reporter: How much to charter one of these puppies?"
"$1.2 mill," said Ping Chuang, who bought tickets for his family.
Reporter: "Wow! And I hear you're going to leave two seats empty, so it's just the family?"
"No, it's not empty. There's two angels coming with us," said Chuang.
Passengers won't just check in and hop on board. The whole experience will mean three days of training and health checks, then a few hours in the air, and three minutes weightless, in space. The mothership will carry Spaceship 2 up, then release it to glide back. Unlike NASA's rockets, it won't orbit the earth
It's Sir Richard Branson who's determined to take them there.
Reporter: "Is this the new space race?"
Branson: "I think it's the start of a new space race. It's not been easy. It's taken us five years more than we thought it would take but finally they've pulled it off."
That is, if the FAA gives Galactic the green light. Virgin says commercial launch is just months away.
"We're broaching out into a new field in the sky, and we're gonna have some mishaps that happen now. Hopefully, they won't be catastrophic," said Michael Moyer, senior editor for Scientific America.
Reporter: "Do you ever fear you are putting too much at risk with this?"
Branson: "People risked a lot to get space of the ground in the first place. Unless you risk something, the world stays still."
Branson is such a believer, he plans to take the first flight with his own children. David Mackay will be at the controls.
"We don't want to push too hard too quickly. It'd be nice to be first to do it, but the most important thing is to do it right. Whoever is first has to be right," said Mackay.
Reporter: "What is your ultimate dream for this?"
Branson: "We'll start with giving people a taste of space, then we'll send people into orbital flight. We'll start building hotels in space."
Reporter: "Really? In our lifetime?"
Branson: "In your lifetime, definitely. Hopefully in my lifetime."
But will this ever be for the masses?
Reporter: "Is this a playground for the wealthiest, the 1 percent only?"
Branson: "Initially, it's very much the wealthiest who are going to use it. But through these wealthy people being willing to be pioneers. I think millions of people will one day have the chance to go to space."
Like Mikey Oliveri, who has a dream bigger, perhaps, than most.
"I want to be the first disabled person in space. I don't have $200,000 but I have a dream," said Oliveri.
Hoping he may get his moment among the stars.
Branson also said he thinks Virgin Galactic could be the most profitable business Virgin has ever run.