Richard Branson Successfully Launches First Passengers Into Space


| LAST UPDATE 07/12/2021

By Sharon Renee
Richard branson passenger flight
Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

History has just been made – all thanks to Richard Branson. The billionaire founder of Virgin Galactic just launched the first-ever passengers flight to space. Here’s what we know about the momentous event…

Richard branson space flight
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

On Sunday, July 11, Richard Branson, along with 5 crew members, took off from New Mexico’s Spaceport America site. After almost 17 years and loads of money poured into the passion project, Mr. Branson finally made his dreams a reality. Traveling over 3 times the speed of sound, the spacecraft ventured to the edge of space as spectators below watched in amazement.

While thousands of feet above, the lucky crew-members got to experience complete weightlessness as they floated in their cabin for a minute or two. If things had gone to plan, we would've then watched Branson present a mid-flight speech. Unfortunately, the flaky signal ultimately deemed that impossible.

Richard branson virgin galactic
Virgin Galactic / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Luckily, Branson has since filled in all of the missing pieces. "Honestly nothing could prepare you for the view of Earth from space," the Virgin Galactic founder revealed upon landing, after traveling over 50 miles above the Earth's surface. "I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid." But while he may have made his childhood dreams a reality, he's still got a long way to go.

Richard branson virgin galactic
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

"Just imagine a world where people of all ages, all backgrounds, from anywhere, of any gender, of any ethnicity, have equal access to space," Branson explained of his repurposed goal: to make space exploration accessible to all. "For my grandchildren... and for many people who are alive today, for everybody."

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Richard branson virgin galactic
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Shortly upon landing, Branson began to put that very plan into play. "You have a chance to go to space," the mogul proudly announced of his latest collaboration - a Virgin Galactic sweepstakes in partnership with Omaze. As he revealed, two lucky winners will be offered a spot on board "one of the first commercial Virgin Galactic spaceflights" next year. "Welcome to the dawn of a new space age!"