Sir Richard Branson Takes Off For Historic Virgin Galactic Launch Into Space

July 11, 2021

By: Sarah DiLuzio

Richard Branson’s company is historically launching its SpaceShipTwo, the V.S.S. Unity, into space with his Virgin Galactic team on Sunday morning.

If the trip is successful, Branson will become the first billionaire in space, beating out Jeff Bezos who is scheduled to make a similar flight on July 20 aboard his Blue Origin spacecraft.

The launch for V.S.S. Unity involves a specially designed airplane that will take off from a traditional runway and carry the Unity up about 9 miles, where the Unity will separate from the plane and use its fire rocket engines to propel to an altitude of 55 miles.

The space experience for Branson and his crew is expected to only last about five minutes with the entire mission expected to take 2 and a half hours.

The launch has attracted several celebrities, including Stephen Colbert who’s hosting the live stream of the launch, and Khalid who is going to perform once the crew lands safely.

This has been a dream of Branson's since he was a boy and professionally for 17 years and today it's coming true as he will spark a wave of tourism after this and as others like Jeff Bezo's prepares to make his journey into space in only nine days.

Elon Musk was in attendance cheering on Branson and Bezo's sent his support for his fellow space travelers.

The launch is set for 7:30 a.m. PT.