Richard Branson Flies to the Edge of Space aboard the Unity Rocket Plane16th Jul 2021
12th July saw the vision of space tourism come to reality as Richard Branson reached the edge of space. He flew over New Mexico aboard the Unity rocket plane, which he has been developing for almost two decades.
The head of Virgin Galactic said the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After reaching space, the billionaire entrepreneur landed safely back on Earth.
Branson expressed his joy after the successful trip. It had been his dream since childhood to go to space, however he said nothing could prepare anyone for the experience.
He got a chance to view the Earth from orbit and described it as a magical sight. All this was said during a press conference he held afterward.
The Virgin Galactic founder beat Jeff Bezos, who is also planning a space tourism event this July. Richard Branson is now the first person to go to orbit for a tour. Elon Musk also has space tourism plans underway.
Richard Branson Achieves Space Tourism Goal
The Unity vehicle managed to reach a height of 85km. On board the craft were two pilots who accompanied the billionaire entrepreneur and three Virgin Galactic employees.
After the event, the three employees and Branson were awarded honorary astronaut wings. The badges were presented by former astronaut and space station commander Chris Hadfield.
The flight was a test as Virgin Galactic gears up for more missions soon. The company plans to begin flying customers to Lower Earth orbit in 2022.
Branson said he had written down around 40 different things to add to the next flight to make it the most memorable experience for customers. He expressed that the only way to learn this was to fly to orbit and experience it himself.
To date, six hundred customers have made partial payments and are waiting their turn to fly with Virgin Galactic.