WASHINGTON: Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has announced his plan to reach space nine days before Amazon boss Jeff Bezos by taking part in a test flight for his company Virgin Galactic.
In a video posted on Twitter, the Virgin Group founder introduced himself as “Astronaut 001” and said he will be “evaluating the customer space flight experience” during the test, beginning on July 11, ahead of Mr Bezos’s maiden voyage on 20 July. Sir Richard said: “I have always been a dreamer, my mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars.
“This July, our dream will become a reality and we are really excited to share that moment with you all.”
The Unity 22 mission will be the company’s first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin but will be the 22nd flight test for rocket plane VSS Unity.
Taking off from a spaceport in New Mexico, the crew will be evaluating the “cabin environment, seat comfort, the weightless experience and the views of Earth that the spaceship delivers” in the commercial cabin.