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Commercial sub-orbital spaceflights are coming faster than you think. Image: shuterstock
Commercial sub-orbital spaceflights are coming faster than you think. Image: shuterstock

Virgin Galactic Headed to Space in “Weeks Not Months”

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Commercial sub-orbital spaceflights are coming faster than you think. Image: shuterstock

Sir Richard Branson, says his company is headed to space in “weeks not months” from now.

The founder of Virgin Galactic said it is nearly ready to take its first trip into space.

Virgin Galactic Heading to Space

Multi-millionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson said this week that Virgin Galactic is only “weeks” from its goal of heading to space.

“We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years,” said Branson, the founder and CEO of Virgin Galactic, during a CNBC interview.

Branson is in the current space race among commercial companies. His top rivals are Elon Musk and his SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin. Each of these companies is working urgently to become the first to send fee-paying passengers up into space.

Sub-Orbital Space Trips

Branson founded Virgin Galactic back in 2004. Since then, the company has been seeking its goal of commercial sub-orbital spaceflight. It has been promising to send tourists on the first sub-orbital trips to space from its launch. Originally, it promised to start sending people into space as of 2009. Clearly, that did not come to pass.

The company has faced delays from the beginning. It faced another major setback in 2014 when the company experienced a fatal crash. Earlier in 2018, Virgin Galactic was able to complete a successful SpaceShipTwo supersonic test flight. The SpaceShipTwo is the company’s passenger rocket ship. It was the first test flight since the 2014 crash.

Sir Richard Branson, the Astronaut

Virgin Galactic’s 67 year-old founder was supposed to have participated in one of the company’s space flights before April this year. That said, the CEO’s flight was delayed and has not yet taken place.

That said, he has stated that he has been receiving fitness, astronaut and centrifuge graining. Moreover, he has underscored that there is considerable demand for commercial space flights.

“If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it,” said Branson in the CNBC interview. “It is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater with that demand.”

The Virgin Galactic announcement that they are “weeks” away from space flight follows closely on the heels of an announcement from top rival, SpaceX, which recently unveiled its private passenger plans for flights around the moon.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.