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Branson wins billionaire space race

·3-min read
Sir Richard Branson on board Virgin Galactic space flight
Sir Richard Branson is the first billionaire to travel to space (Source: Twitter @richardbranson)

Sir Richard Branson has beat Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk to be the first billionaire to travel to space.

Travelling on his own Virgin Galactic vehicle Branson made history by travelling on the spaceflight.

“I have dreamt about this moment since I was a child, but nothing could have prepared me for the view of Earth from space,” Branson said.

“We are at the vanguard of a new space age. As Virgin’s founder, I was honoured to test the incredible customer experience as part of this remarkable crew of mission specialists and now astronauts. I can’t wait to share this experience with aspiring astronauts around the world.”

While on the spaceflight Branson and the crew experienced moments of weightlessness after reaching an altitude of 85 kilometers into the sky.

The boundary of space is considered to be 80 kilometres in altitude.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic has been working towards making space travel for the past 17 years with the hopes of making it more accessible.

“Our mission is to make space more accessible to all. In that spirit, and with today’s successful flight of VSS Unity, I’m thrilled to announce a partnership with Omaze and Space for Humanity to inspire the next generation of dreamers,” he said.

“For so long, we have looked back in wonder at the space pioneers of yesterday. Now, I want the astronauts of tomorrow to look forward and make their own dreams come true.”

The flight was live streamed to audiences around the world on the Virgin Galactic YouTube channel.

“I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars,” Branson said while on the flight.

“Now I’m an adult in a spaceship looking down to our beautiful Earth.

“To the next generation of dreamers: if we can do this, just imagine what you can do.”

Bezos and Musk react to space flight

Bezos, who will take his own spaceflight in nine days congratulated Branson despite coming in second.

“Congratulations on the flight. Can't wait to join the club!” Bezos said on Instagram.

Bezos is set to take off on his own Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft on July 20.

Musk also congratulated Branson on the flight, responding to a tweet with his congratulations.

“Congratulations, beautiful flight!” Musk said.

Musk has been focussing his efforts on making space travel more affordable with the invention of reusable rockets.

Bezos and Branson had been vying to be the first passenger-ready space companies working to commercialise space travel.

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