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Friday, July 30, 2021

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson Set To Blast Off To House

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TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — After a lifetime of craving to fly in area, Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson was poised to blast off aboard his personal rocket ship Sunday in his boldest, grandest journey but.

The joys-seeking billionaire joined 5 firm workers additionally assigned to the check flight to the sting of area excessive above the southern desert of New Mexico.

Ever the showman, Branson dramatically counted down the times to liftoff through Twitter. He seen the transient up-and-down journey as a confidence builder — not just for the 600-plus folks already holding reservations and ready within the wings, however potential area vacationers keen to plunk down just a few hundred-thousand {dollars} for a shot at area.

The London-born founding father of the Virgin Group, who turns 71 in every week, wasn’t speculated to fly till later this summer time. However he assigned himself to an earlier flight after Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos introduced plans to journey his personal rocket into area from West Texas on July 20.

Virgin Galactic doesn’t count on to start out flying prospects earlier than subsequent 12 months. Blue Origin has but to open ticket gross sales and even announce costs, however late final week boasted through Twitter that it will take purchasers increased and supply larger home windows.

In contrast to Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which launch capsules atop reusable booster rockets, Virgin Galactic makes use of a twin-fuselage plane to get its rocket ship aloft. The area aircraft is launched from the mothership about 44,000 ft (13,400 meters) up, then fires its rocket motor to streak straight to area. Most altitude is roughly 55 miles (70 kilometers), with three to 4 minutes of weightlessness supplied.

The rocket aircraft — which requires two pilots — glides to a runway touchdown at its Spaceport America base.

Virgin Galactic reached area for the primary time in 2018, repeating the feat in 2019 and once more this previous Might, every time with a minimal crew. It acquired permission from the Federal Aviation Administration final month to start out launching prospects.

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Dunn reported from Cape Canaveral, Fla.



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