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…
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.
I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. 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 https://t.co/Wyzj0nOBgX #Unity22 @virgingalactic pic.twitter.com/03EJmKiH8V— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 11, 2021
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.
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.
"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."
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!"