Virgin Galactic is weeks away from reaching space, CEO Richard Branson says

Mindy Sparks
October 10, 2018

Virgin previously said that it had sold around 650 tickets for its fully commercial suborbital flights, which are now booked until at least 2021.

The feat would mark a milestone for the company which is in a race against Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX to offer space flights to wealthy would-be astronauts.

While Sir Richard says that he will have humans in space next year, Mr Musk has set a target of 2030 to get people to Mars, with the first people there being tasked with beginning to build a new civilisation.

Virgin Galactic is a few steps behind its main competitor SpaceX, which last month announced it will be sending its first private citizen around the moon in 2023 - Japanese online fashion businessman Yusaku Maezawa.

'We should be in space within weeks, not months.

A few months after another successful test flight over the Mojave Desert, billionaire Richard Branson says his space company, Virgin Galactic, might be out among the stars in a matter of weeks.

But while Sir Richard believes Musk is "doing fantastically well" in getting cargo into space - including his own auto - the real tussle is between the Virgin boss and Bezos.

He said the firm would be taking people into space "not too long after" that. "And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years", the firm's founder told CNBC.


Speaking to CNBC in Singapore on Tuesday, Branson was also bullish about the company's bid to kick off a new frontier of space tourism.

Eventually, the company wants to fly space tourists to an altitude of 360,890 feet (110,000 metres) going beyond the 328,000 feet (100,000 metres) defined boundary of space.

And in that time, rivals like SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin have flourished.

The reusable New Shepard rocket and spacecraft is meant to carry up to six space tourists, researchers and/or experiments on brief suborbital flights, the company has said.

But Virgin boss Richard Branson has come out with some bullish words on Galactic's progress.

To reach space, the pilots must take the Unity higher still.

For comparison, astronauts at the orbiting International Space Station fly some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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