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Elon Musk to Fly to the Edge of Space With Virgin Galactic

Elon Musk has booked a seat with Virgin Galactic for a experience to the sting of area.

The revelation got here through the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, July 11, the day that Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson participated within the firm’s first fully crewed spaceflight forward of the launch of a business area tourism service.

It’s not clear when Musk will step aboard the VSS Unity spaceplane for the rocket-powered expertise, although Virgin Galactic says it’s hoping to launch its area tourism service in 2022 following two extra check flights this 12 months.

Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime expertise value $250,000, with Virgin Galactic having thus far offered round 600 seats after launching gross sales a number of years in the past.

According to Branson, the 2 billionaire entrepreneurs are literally good buddies, evidenced partially by a photo tweeted by the Virgin Galactic founder on Sunday, shortly earlier than he headed skyward aboard Unity.

Musk additionally has plans to launch an area tourism service, although SpaceX’s shall be extra advanced, providing a number of days in orbit aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft lifted into area by a two-stage rocket, whereas Virgin Galactic’s flight lasts simply quarter-hour and presents passengers solely a few minutes of weightlessness, in addition to gorgeous views of Earth.

While it’s completely attainable Musk might take a experience to area on one in every of his personal rockets, the coaching course of for Virgin Galactic’s flight is far shorter and so would take much less day trip of his busy schedule overseeing not solely SpaceX, but in addition electric-car firm Tesla, which he additionally leads. In addition, SpaceX doesn’t but have a strong schedule for launching civilian-only area journeys, although it’s planning to conduct its first one in September utilizing a specially designed Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Richard Branson turned Sunday’s Virgin Galactic check flight into an enormous advertising and marketing occasion for the corporate’s upcoming area tourism service, streaming the mission dwell in addition to inviting a variety of well-known individuals — Musk amongst them — to the launch website in New Mexico. The day additionally featured a efficiency by Grammy-winning artist Khalid and a “welcome home” ceremony for the Unity crew.

Virgin Galactic’s first totally crewed flight got here simply forward of one other one subsequent week that can see Amazon founder Jeff Bezos experience to the sting of area aboard a New Shepard rocket constructed by one other of his firms, Blue Origin. The flight would be the first crewed outing performed by Blue Origin and will pave the way in which for an area tourism service much like the one provided by Virgin Galactic, although the 2 transportation techniques differ enormously.

While some of us see the billionaires’ area race as a vulgar pursuit and a waste of giant quantities of cash, others are having fun with the thought of creating area extra accessible, even when, for now at the very least, the price of tickets means solely the super-rich will get to benefit from the area expertise.

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