Richard Branson has successfully reached space on board a Virgin Galactic flight.
The Virgin boss was on board his company’s space plane in it’s first fully crewed test flight.
Due to the success of the flight, Mr Branson beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos to space, as well as gaining major publicity for the company.
Jeff Bezos the Amazon founder will make a similar journey on the 20th July, on board one of his Blue Origin spacecraft’s.
However, Blue Origin has argued that Mr Branson’s trip does not count as a trip to space, since he did not cross the Kármán line that defines the boundary of space.
Mr Branson and Virgin Galactic’s space plane Unity reached a maximum height of about 280,000 feet, before gliding back down to Earth.
“Seventeen years of hard work to get us this far.”
Branson is the first person to reach space with his own spaceship, beating Bezos by nine days.
Around 500 people were watching as Branson took off to space, including his wife, children, and grandchildren.
The London-born founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways wasn’t supposed to fly until later this summer, but he assigned himself to an earlier flight after Mr Bezos announced plans to ride his rocket into space from Texas in July.
Mr Bezos’ Blue Origin company intends to send tourists past the Kármán line which is recognised as the threshold of space.
Branson insisted that his departure was livestreamed globally on Sunday morning and invited celebrities and former space station astronauts to the company’s Spaceport America base in New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 reservations from wanna be space tourists, with tickets costing 250,000 dollars each.
Elon Musk has yet to go to space, however his SpaceX is already launching astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA and is building Moon and Mars ships. It’s capsules will go into orbit around the Earth, with seats costing into the millions and it’s first private flight is set for September.
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