Richard Branson Completes Successful Virgin Galactic Space Flight

Richard Branson Completes Successful Virgin Galactic Space Flight

Richard Branson Completes Successful Virgin Galactic Space Flight

Richard Branson Completes Successful Virgin Galactic Space Flight and  wins space race against Bezos.

The 70-year-old British billionaire reached space nine days before Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ planned flight, however, Bezos’ company said Branson was simply not flying high enough.

Take-off had been delayed by about 90 minutes on Sunday due to the weather overnight at Spaceport America in New Mexico, in the US.

But video streamed live online showed the Virgin Galactic in the air at about 3.45pm UK time, and the aircraft had reached 40,000 feet by 4pm.

Blue Origin has argued that Mr Branson’s trip does not really count as a trip to space, since he did not cross the Kármán line that generally defines the boundary of space. Mr Branson and Virgin Galactic’s space plane Unity reached a maximum height of about 280,000 feet, or 55 miles, before gliding back down to Earth.

As well as representing a success – and major publicity coup – for the company, it also meant that Mr Branson beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos to space. The Amazon founder will make a similar journey on 20 July, onboard one of his own Blue Origin spacecraft.

“Seventeen years of hard work to get us this far,” a jubilant Mr Branson said as he congratulated his team on the trip back.

Branson, in remarks from his Virgin Galactic flight on Sunday, said the spaceflight was the “complete experience of a lifetime” shortly after the spacecraft successfully took off over New Mexico.

“Now I’m looking down at a beautiful spaceport,” said Branson, who is flying along with two pilots and three Virgin Galactic employees. “Congratulations to everyone for creating such a beautiful, beautiful place.”

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.