Richard Branson has invested over a billion dollars in Virgin Galactic over the past couple of decades.
British billionaire Richard Branson plans to go into space aboard his own Virgin Galactic spacecraft over the next 4-5 months. He wants to be in time for the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon (Apollo 11 leans along on July 20, 1969).
Virgin Galactic is one of two companies (Blue Origin), aimed at tourist flights with a duration of several minutes. Companies dream of sending hundreds or thousands of people on short suborbital flights. That is, the height will not allow them to go on rotation around the Earth.
Such missions last less and seem more accessible than the planned SpaceX project to send the Japanese billionaire to the Moon in 2023. Virgin Galactic is aiming at an altitude of 80 km above the earth’s surface, which is considered to be the edge of outer space in the United States (100 km is internationally recognized). The SpaceShipTwo spacecraft is operated by two pilots. To launch, use a special aircraft, after which its own engine is activated to take off into the sky and rise to a height for an accessible overview of the curvature of the planet.
The ship flies and descends independently to the aerospace port of Mojave (California). On board there is room for 6 passengers. Branson had already announced possible launch dates, but they had to be postponed. Now he claims that the preparation is at the final stage.
He also said that Virgin Galactic costs him $ 35 million a month, and since the 2000s. invested more than a billion dollars in the enterprise. The next test flight of the ship is scheduled for February 20, if the weather does not interfere.