Space tourism: Virgin Galactic ‘weeks’ away from first test flights in space

Richard Branson Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson Virgin Galactic

In an interview with CNBC, Branson said his company was "more than tantalisingly close" to its first landmark flight beyond Earth's atmosphere, stating: "we should be in space within weeks, not months". In April, Bob Smith, the head of Jeff Bezos's Blue Origins space company, told CNBC the firm still hoped to send tourists to the edge of space by the end of the year.

He added: "We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead".

Branson, of course, is not alone in his mission: The British entrepreneur is in a closely-fought race with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who will reportedly charge $200,000 to $300,000 for a seat on one of its Blue Origin rockets.

Tuesday, Branson said the test flights are near.

Branson even dished out some health advice for fellow billionaire Elon Musk, who runs SpaceX and has been in a firestorm of controversy over the last six months.

"We should be in space within weeks, not months".

Virgin Founder and all around legend Sir Richard Branson said: " Integrating mindfulness into our everyday lives is just as important as eating well and exercising regularly, and in I am so excited to see Virgin Australia deeply embedding mindfulness into the workplace and onboard flights".

Virgin Galactic isn't the only private spaceflight services company out there.

The program follows a move either this year by Townsville Airport, in far north Queensland, to provide emotional support dogs for nervous travellers.

Musk has reached dizzying heights with his numerous private space deliveries to the International Space Station at an altitude of around 1.4 million feet (408,000 metres), but is yet to fly any of his planned passenger-carrying craft. Since then, the company has already enlisted around 800 passengers who paid $250,000 United States dollars each for a return ticket on the Virgin Galactic.

Departing Sydney at 9am VA9002 took to the sky with 65 special guest on board including Sir Richard Branson, media, VIP's and team members from Virgin Australia and Smiling Mind.

Branson underwent astronaut, fitness and centrifuge training in recent months and he believes that he will be ready to depart to space in only a few months.

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