WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Billionaire Richard Branson has positively declared that he will be able to travel into space within the next six months.
- Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 and asserted that his first voyage will be on his space program.
- The Virgin Group founder’s next mission is to send tourists into space by the end of 2018.
Richard Branson is confident that his spaceflight company can send him to space. Aside from developing commercial spacecraft, the business magnate also targets providing space travels to tourists and suborbital flights for space expeditions.
During a test flight in California in 2014, a plane created for commercial space travel crashed in the Mojave Desert killing one of its pilots and injuring another.
Despite the plane crash incident and a few more difficulties, Branson proudly revealed that Virgin Galactic has over 700 potential space tourists. The list of customers includes scientist Stephen Hawking and several celebrities including Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher and Katy Perry. It was reported that they have signed up to take a $250,000 trip to space.
“We are hopefully about three months before we are in space, maybe six months before I’m in space,” Branson said during the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland early this month.
The Daily Mail reported that Branson said Tesla CEO Elon Musk is likely to reach Mars before him. Musk, Branson’s space exploration rival, is the brain behind the SpaceX program that produces reusable rockets.
“I’m not as passionate about Mars as Elon is. My love for space is about how much it can do for people back here on Earth, and that’s what Virgin Galactic is pushing towards.”
The Tesla founder just recently announced that SpaceX aims to land its first rockets on Mars by 2022.