Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson to Become First Billionaire in Space

Illustration for article titled In Big Middle Finger to Bezos, Richard Branson Set to Become the First Billionaire in Space

Photograph: Johannis Eisele (Getty Footage)

Virgin Galactic founder and billionaire Richard Branson announced Thursday he’ll shuttle beyond the Earth’s atmosphere in a test flight location for July 11. If the starting up goes in step with belief, he’ll be the major billionaire in dwelling, setting the narrative proper nine days ahead of the major deliberate spaceflight of any other obscenely rich astronaut wannabe—Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Discuss stealing the present.

“I’ve constantly been a dreamer,” Branson acknowledged on Twitter. “My mum taught me to never stop and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to flip that dream into a actuality aboard the next Virgin Galactic spaceflight.”

Two pilots and 4 missions specialists will shuttle aboard the VSS Unity with Branson, who will seemingly be “checking out the deepest astronaut skills,” Virgin Galactic acknowledged in an announcement Thursday. The so-known as Unity 22 mission would possibly be the dwelling tourism agency’s fourth crewed test flight of its spaceplane and marks basically the most indispensable milestone within the bustle to commercialize shuttle beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

“I with out a doubt assume that dwelling belongs to all of us,” Branson acknowledged in a commentary alongside the corporate’s announcement. “After 17 years of examine, engineering and innovation, Virgin Galactic stands at the leading fringe of a brand mild commercial dwelling industry poised to originate the universe to humankind and alter the area for marvelous.”

G/O Media would possibly presumably well get a price

Meanwhile, Blue Foundation announced last month that Bezos, the corporate’s founder, will shuttle to dwelling aboard its first crewed flight of its Unusual Shepard suborbital automobile on July 20. Alongside several crewmembers, he’ll be joined by his brother, Fee, and a mysterious bidder who dropped $28 million for the appreciate of tagging along.

Reuters lately reported that Branson was once pondering about rapidly-tracking his relish mission to beat out Bezos’ deliberate day out. Virgin Galactic made a indispensable step towards making that a actuality last week when it got an upgraded license from the Federal Aviation Administration to embody paying potentialities on its dwelling flights.

To this level, the VSS Unity, which is designed to set as much as six passengers and two pilots, has carried out 21 test flights. Following Branson’s day out, two further test flights are mute on the time table ahead of Virgin Galactic expects to starting up commercial carrier in 2022, the corporate acknowledged Thursday. It has some 600 reservations for seats on future flights, every worth going for between $200,000 and $250,000.

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