Richard Branson becomes an astronaut at the age of 70, a “once in a lifetime” experience.
Today, VIRGIN GALACTIC achieved history as the first space tourism business to successfully launch a crew of four people and two pilots into space.
Today, Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin empire’s business leader, became the second-oldest person to travel into space (July 11). Sir Richard, 70, and a crew of three flight specialists took off from Virgin Galactic’s headquarters of operations in New Mexico, reaching a height of more than 50 miles. “What a wonderful take off,” a launch commentator at the site shouted as the plane lifted above the runway.
The mission, designated Unity 22, took off from New Mexico at around 3.40 p.m. BST, 100 minutes later than planned.
Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft, the VSS Unity, was launched into space by the VMS Eve, a mothership aircraft.
The spacecraft detached and its rocket motor fired in after reaching a height of around 46,000 feet.
The strong rocket engine immediately drove the spaceship above Mach 2 – twice the speed of sound – with a boom of fire.
The crew of the Unity was able to experience weightlessness for a few minutes after blasting off into suborbital space.
Virgin Galactic’s crew earned astronaut wings after the aircraft soared above the 50-mile boundary, exceeding the American criteria for spaceflight.
Sir Richard praised Virgin Galactic and everyone who helped make the voyage possible from the spacecraft.
On the official live stream, he said it was a “once in a lifetime experience.”
Mr Branson stated before of the launch that he believes space should be open to all.
Michael Colglazier, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, shares this viewpoint, believing that today’s voyage will “open up space to all.”
“This is a watershed moment for Virgin Galactic,” he remarked.
“This is a watershed event for the emerging commercial space industry, and it is unquestionably a watershed moment for our creator, Sir Richard Branson.”
Virgin Galactic has only gone to space three times before, and never with an entire crew.
The VSS Unity can carry up to six people at once, but today’s trip only had a four-person crew.
The project launched just nine days before former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches into space.
“Brinkwire Summary News” will be launched by the millionaire and his firm Blue Origin.