Branson says Virgin Galactic to launch space flight 'within weeks'

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Branson says Virgin Galactic to launch space flight 'within weeks'

Eccentric entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson confirmed that his Virgin Galactic will soon be completing its first space rest flights.

In Singapore, billionaire and founder of Virgin, said that the company is close to launching its first mission into space, he hopes to briefly leave the Ground - and not even in the coming years and months, writes naked-science. "And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years", the firm's founder told CNBC.

He said the firm would be taking people into space "not too long after" that. And that'll be a legitimate offsettable business expense for professional Instagrammers, so there ought to be loads of them up flying about up there, pouting in front of small, black windows.

That said, there appear to be some serious players in this nascent market, the most prominent of which, aside from Virgin Galactic, are Blue Origin, led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and SpaceX, run by Elon Musk.

Back in 2014, an early version of the Virgin Galactic spaceship crashed in the Mojave Desert and killed one of the co-pilots.

Despite the recent successful test flight after this tragic incident, it remains hard to believe that they will launch successfully so soon.

Virgin Galactic has been promising space tourism for the better part of a decade.

Virgin's space programme is the culmination of a 14-year process. It performed powered test flights in April and May. This does, of course, put him into direct competition with Elon Musk for the first commercial space flight!

The multi-millionaire admitted earlier this year that the number of spurious claims he has made about Virgin Galactic flight dates was "embarrassing".

Virgin Galactic says its spacecraft will take passengers 68 miles above the Earth's surface for a price of $250,000.

Musk has reached dizzying heights with his numerous private space deliveries to the International Space Station at an altitude of around 1.4 million feet (408,000 metres), but is yet to fly any of his planned passenger-carrying craft.

Both companies will offer customers a weightless experience that will last just minutes, passing through the imaginary line marking where space begins - either the Karman line, at 100 kilometers, or the 50-mile boundary recognized by the US Air Force.

The company first promised sub-orbital spaceflight trips for tourists by the start of 2009.

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