At 70, Branson becomes the second oldest person to have traveled to space
He overtakes his rival Jeff Bezos who plans to fly in his New Sheppard ship on July 20
Exulting from inside the cockpit of the rocket plane VSS Unity the British billionaire Richard Branson has struck the table in the fledgling space tourism industry and is ahead of its competitor’s flight by nine days Jeff bezos aboard the New Shepard rocket of the Blue Origin company.
Branson you have successfully completed the first flight of your spaceship with the full crewHe was accompanied by two pilots and three mission specialists, and he has also become, at 70, the second oldest person to travel into space.
The mothership, named Eve in memory of Branson’s mother, took off at around four thirty in the afternoon (Spanish time) from the Virgin Galactic base in the New Mexico desert. The device has risen to 50,000 feet, about 15,000 meters, and from there it has launched the rocket plane that by its own has risen to the limit of the atmosphere more than 80 kilometers high.
The crew of the mission have been able to enjoy up there about four minutes of weightlessness and they have been able to appreciate the curvature of planet Earth. After the brief space trip the VSS Unity has descended and has landed softly at the Virgin Galactic base.
Upon arrival ashore, Branson has embraced his family with a smiling expression and has published a message in which he predicts “the dawn of a new space age”.
The launch of this Sunday marks the twenty-second test flight of the company of its SpaceShipTwo system, and its fourth manned mission beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Branson has touted the flight as the maiden voyage of his space tourism business and is confident that he will be able to offer the first commercial tickets as early as next year.