By Cailey Rizzo
Updated February 26, 2020
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SpaceShipTwo and VMS Eve in the hangar of The Gateway to Space
| Credit: Virgin Galactic

Astronaut hopefuls now have a chance to get even closer to a dream voyage in space.

Virgin Galactic announced on Tuesday that it will begin accepting $1,000 deposits for priority access to its next round of tickets. Referred to as “small step” deposit. the $1,000 will give space fans the first chance at nabbing a Virgin Galactic reservation as they open up, although they didn't disclose when that's exactly happening.

So far, Virgin Galactic has received almost 8,000 applications — which is practically double the applications from September 2019. At least 600 people — including Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio — have purchased the $250,000 tickets for a space experience with Richard Branson's space exploration endeavor.

Despite the company suffering a a net loss of $73 million for the last quarter of 2019, according to the BBC, Virgin Galactic insists that it is on track to begin its inaugural flights later this year. Last year, the company became the only publicly-listed space tourism group when it entered the stock exchange.

Branson also said he intends to be on the company’s first mission to space. It's sure to be a global event as the first 600 registered astronauts are from more than 60 countries around the world.

They will board a Virgin Galactic spacecraft for a 90-minute experience, including a few minutes of weightlessness and the ability to see the Earth’s curvature from space.