Sir Richard Branson Wins Billionaire Space Race
Yesterday, Sir Richard Branson successfully reached the edge of space onboard his Virgin Galactic rocket plane, beating rival billionaires in the race to reach space first.
The billionaire Virgin Group founder flew high above New Mexico, US, in the rocket plane that Virgin Galactic has been developing for close to two decades. Richard Branson said the trip was an experience of a lifetime, safely returning to Earth following his flight to the edge of space, which lasted just over an hour.
The trip establishes Branson as the first of the new billionaire space tourism pioneers to successfully test their own space vehicles. Branson has beat both SpaceX’s Elon Musk and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos into space. Bezos plans to make the flight on July 20, alongside 82-year-old American aviator Wally Funk.
Branson was accompanied on his mission by the vehicle’s two pilots, Michael Masucci and Dave Mackay, and three Virgin Galactic employees, Beth Moses, Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandla. Following the success of the flight, Branson has said he expects to begin selling Virgin Galactic’s space tourism experience to customers from next year.