WATCH: Virgin Galactic sends billionaire Richard Branson to space

18:28, 11 July 2021
WATCH: Virgin Galactic sends billionaire Richard Branson to space Photo:

The British founder of the Virgin Group Richard Branson with five others aboard headed into space onboard VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo from New Mexico on Sunday.

The crew experienced five minutes of weightlessness during the 22nd flight test for the company’s spaceplane VSS Unity. A massive twin-fuselage mothership reached an altitude of 50,000 feet.

Branson was accompanied by two pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, and a team of specialists comprising Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations Sirisha Bandla, Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses, and Lead Operations Engineer Colin Bennett.

The trip lasted in total for about 90 minutes.

Richard Branson was the first billionaire to make a space flight ahead of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

A day before VSS Unity's flight Elon Musk wished Branson the best, and stated that he will be at Spaceport America for the flight.

"Will see you there to wish you the best," Musk wrote on Twitter after retweeting Branson's message about Sunday's planned journey.

"Thanks for being so typically supportive and such a good friend, Elon. Great to be opening up space for all - safe travels and see you at Spaceport America!" - Branson replied.

Jeff Bezos, who is flying on the first passenger flight aboard a rocket New Shepard built by his own space company Blue Origin on July 20, also wished Branson luck followed by Blue Origin's tweet a day later.

"Wishing you and the whole team a successful and safe flight tomorrow. Best of luck!" - Bezos wote on Instagram.

Virgin Galactic was founded by Branson in 2004. VSS Unity is the company's second SpaceShipTwo after the first, VSS Enterprise, broke apart during a 2014 test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another.