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giftedviz.com December 17, 2018


Branson's Training up for a Virgin Galactic Trip Within Months

11 October 2018, 07:12 | Ross Houston

The Virgin Galactic VSS Unity. Virgin Galactic

The Virgin Galactic VSS Unity.                  Virgin Galactic

Almost 50 years after dropping out of high school at age 15 and founding his first business, Sir Richard Branson is now the billionaire chair of the Virgin Group, which brings in more than $21 billion annually in global revenue.

"If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it", he told CNBC.

"We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead", he added.

But while Sir Richard believes Musk is "doing fantastically well" in getting cargo into space - including his own auto - the real tussle is between the Virgin boss and Bezos.

Branson's bold claims signal that Virgin Galactic may once again be a serious contender in the current space race with SpaceX, Boeing and Blue Origin. Within a few minutes, passengers will experience weightlessness.

The 68-year-old, who is also chairman of Virgin Galactic, remains convinced that the billions of dollars that have been pumped into the research, development and testing of the spaceships is a sound investment.

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"I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts, and go into space is enormous, and I think it's up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater to that demand", he said.

Virgin Galactic has so far this year completed three successful rocket-powered test flights of its latest SpaceShipTwo plane, VSS Unity, but the vehicle has yet to be tested at the target altitude of 62 miles.

The Virgin Galactic boss has been investing in space travel since 2004 and he had hopes that he would be able to go to space himself sometime before April of this year. Since then, the company has already enlisted around 800 passengers who paid $250,000 United States dollars each for a return ticket on the Virgin Galactic.

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. "He shouldn't be getting very little sleep", Branson told CNBC when asked what advice he would give his fellow billionaire.

Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has said it aims for test flights by the end of 2018.



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