Virgin Galactic to launch space flight ‘within weeks’

Virgin Galactic to launch space flight ‘within weeks’

Virgin Galactic to launch space flight ‘within weeks’

Mr Branson's Virgin Group is the parent company of Virgin Galactic, which was founded in 2004 to develop commercial spacecraft for space tourism and space exploration.

Asked about the progress of his own Virgin Hyperloop One project, Branson said it was "very close" to being up and running, particularly in India. "Then we will be in space with myself in months and not years".

He said Virgin 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.

He said the length of Virgin Galactic's initial flights will be kept relatively short in order to keep prices at a "reasonable level".

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk's firm SpaceX, Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are all vying to be the first companies to send up the first commercial space flight.

Branson's other space company, Virgin Orbit, has a contract with the Pentagon to launch "technology demonstration satellites", which it is aiming to do by 2019. Particularly in 2014 when a fatal crash occurred.

"Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are formidable competitors, and there's definitely room for all three companies", he said. It performed powered test flights in April and May.

The billionaire had initially planned for a maiden flight by Virgin Galactic to happen by the end of 2009, but the date has been delayed on a number of occasions.

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The first space tourists that have visited in the 2000s, the global space station (ISS), paid tens of millions of dollars for this opportunity. Right now the price of a Virgin Galactic ticket is nearly $250,000-and it won't be dropping anytime soon.

The reusable New Shepard rocket and spacecraft is meant to carry up to six space tourists, researchers and/or experiments on brief suborbital flights, the company has said.

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.

For comparison, astronauts at the orbiting International Space Station fly some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

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