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Billionaire Branson soars to space in own rocket
British billionaire Richard Branson on July 11 soared more than 50 miles (86 km) above the New Mexico desert aboard his Virgin Galactic rocket plane and safely returned in its first fully crewed test flight to space, a symbolic milestone for a venture he started 17 years ago.
“We’re here to make space more accessible to all,” Branson, 70, said following the flight. His company is poised to begin commercial operations next year.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos, who had hoped to fly to space first in his company’s rocket, congratulated Branson on Instagram, saying “Can’t wait to join the club!” (Reuters)
Virgin’s tickets to space start at $450,000
The ticket window is open again for space flights at Virgin Galactic, with prices starting at $450,000 (¥49 million) a seat.
The space tourism company said Aug. 5 it is making progress toward beginning revenue flights next year. It will sell single seats, package deals and entire flights.
Virgin Galactic announced the offerings as it reported Aug. 5 that it lost $94 million (¥10 billion) in the second quarter on soaring costs for overhead and sales.
Virgin Galactic said “early handraisers” will get first priority to book seats, and another list will be created for new customers. The company’s next spaceflight is scheduled for late September in New Mexico. (AP)
These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.