UK Businessman and founder of the Virgin Group, Mr. Richard Branson will fly to space today aboard the VSS Unity SpaceShip Two rocket plane. Virgin Galactic will also be providing an online stream of the event.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 10, 2021
The entrepreneur commented that he wanted to evaluate the experience himself before allowing customers to pay and be aboard from the next year.
Once the spaceship reaches an altitude of 55 miles (approximately 88.51 km), the pilots will cut the engine, allowing it to drift for five minutes. The passengers will be able to see the Earth’s curvature through the windows.
Sunrise is not too far off this morning in New Mexico as we await the Unity 22 flight carrying Richard Branson. Current takeoff time is 10:30 ET (14:30 UTC). Drop time is about 50 minutes after. pic.twitter.com/XMfeM6mWxL
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) July 11, 2021
For Sir Richard, it has been a long journey ever since he first announced his plan to make a space plane in 2004 with expecting that he will have a commercial service available by 2007, to say the least.
In an interview with the BBC, Sir Richard Branson said, “I’ve wanted to go to space since I was a kid, and I want to enable hopefully hundreds of thousands of other people over the next 100 years to be able to go to space.”
“And why shouldn’t they go to space? Space is extraordinary; the Universe is magnificent. I want people to be able to look back at our beautiful Earth and come home and work very hard to try to do magic to it to look after it.”
Chief astronaut instructor at the entrepreneur’s company Virgin Galactic, Beth Moses, will be giving instructions throughout the flight to Sir Richard Branson.
Launch time for Richard Branson's space flight has been pushed back to 10:30 a.m. ET due to weather issues, Virgin Galactic announced Sunday. https://t.co/NH016LTXv9
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 11, 2021
She told the BBC, ” Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s just so bright and beautiful. I saw the ocean, and halfway up the US and halfway down into Mexico. I saw the green of the land and the white snow-capped mountains.”
“Because you are weightless and still, and the ship has come to a stop, you can just soak it in, in a timeless way. It stuck in my soul.”
Amazon founder Mr. Jeff Bezos wished the billionaire, “successful and safe flight” ahead of his journey. Branson’s trip comes just nine days before Mr. Bezos’ flight to space with his brother.