British business magnate Richard Branson blasted off into space aboard the Virgin Galactic spacecraft. The long-awaited launch from Virgin Galactic’s US spaceport in the New Mexico desert was delayed due to bad weather.
The spacecraft, carrying Branson and five other astronauts, was dubbed Spaceflight Unity 22 and took the group to an altitude of about 85 kilometers, which the Federal Aviation Administration recognizes as the limit of space, according to the Washington Post. The trip took about 90 minutes. “It was the experience of a lifetime,” said Branson, who had been developing the spacecraft for 17 years with his Virgin Galactic vehicle.
And so Branson became the first entrepreneur to leave on his own flight into space, as part of a space tourism race starring, among others, billionaire Jeff Bezos, who on July 20 plans to depart with the New Shepard, the shuttle built by his company Blue Origin.
The entrepreneur plans to sell spaceflights for $250,000. According to the Sunday Times, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had bought a ticket for a future space flight organized by his rival. According to reports, Musk paid an advance of $10,000 to book a ticket. The date is not specified. Branson confirmed the news, adding that he could buy a ticket for a Musk SpaceX flight in the future. “Elon is a friend and maybe one day I’ll fly one of his spacecraft,” he said.
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