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This article is more than 3 month old.

Richard Branson, 5 crewmates soar to space and return safely: Report

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A crowd of more than 500 people had watched the twin-fuselage aircraft with Branson's space plane attached underneath taking off.

Richard Branson, 5 crewmates soar to space and return safely: Report
Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and five crewmates today soared to space and returned safely aboard a rocket plane, according to a Reuters report.
AP earlier reported that a crowd of more than 500 people had watched the twin-fuselage aircraft with Branson's space plane attached underneath taking off.
Aboard the spacecraft were Branson and five crewmates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company. According to the AP report, the plan was for the space plane to detach from the mother ship at an altitude of nearly 8 miles (13 km), fire its rocket engine and then pierce the edge of space at about 55 miles (88 km) up. After a few minutes of weightlessness for the crew, the space plane was supposed to glide to a runway landing.
The flight was intended as a confidence-boosting plug for Virgin Galactic, which plans to start taking paying customers on joyrides next year, the report said. It's a beautiful day to go to space, Branson tweeted in the morning, posting a photo of himself with fellow billionaire and space-tourism rival Elon Musk.
Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, wasn't supposed to fly until later this summer, but he assigned himself to an earlier flight after Bezos announced plans to ride his own rocket ship into space from Texas on July 20, according to the AP report.
More than 600 people have already made reservations for a ride into space with Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004, the report said.
Bezos' Blue Origin has yet to open ticket sales or even announce prices. Unlike Blue Origin and Musk's SpaceX both launch capsules atop rockets.
According to the AP report, Virgin Galactic made three previous test flights into space with a crew.
-With agency inputs
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