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Billionaire Richard Branson to go to space on July 11, ahead of Jeff Bezos

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The competition continues between billionaires fond of space exploration. The Briton Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, will travel to space on July 11 during a flight broadcast live. He will thus cap his great rival Jeff Bezos at the post, who will make his own trip a few days later.

British billionaire Richard Branson aims to go to space aboard the spacecraft of the company Virgin Galactic, which he founded on July 11, the company said on Thursday July 1.

If this schedule is respected, he would narrowly beat Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who told him he would go to space on July 20, aboard a rocket from his own company, Blue Origin.

The competition rages between the two men, who have both created companies positioned in the space tourism sector, with short suborbital flights.

“Private astronaut”

“The window for the next test flight of the SpaceShipTwo Unity (spacecraft) opens on July 11, subject to weather conditions and technical checks,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement.

Richard Branson “will be evaluating the private astronaut experience and will undergo the same training, preparation and flight as future Virgin Galactic astronauts. The company will use his observations of his training and flight experience to improve travel for all future astronaut customers, ”she explained.

The flight will also be broadcast live online by the company for the first time.

The machine used by Virgin Galactic is not a classic rocket, but a carrier plane which takes off from a runway then drops at altitude the spaceship hanging under it, which fires its engines until it reaches space and then descends in hovering. Two pilots will be on board the carrier plane, and four people, including Richard Branson, in the spacecraft called VSS Unity.

16 years of research

“I truly believe that space belongs to all of us,” said the billionaire, quoted in the statement. “After 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the forefront of a new commercial space industry, which must open space to humanity.”

After this, two additional tests are planned before the start of regular commercial flights in 2022, detailed Virgin Galactic.

With AFP

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