Branson also announced that Virgin Galactic, his fledgling commercial space company, was expanding to include a satellite-launching service that would use a low-cost rocket system to propel payloads into orbit.
Speaking at the UK’s Farnborough International Airshow, the British entrepreneur said his adult children, Holly and Sam, would accompany him on board the SpaceShipTwo on its pioneering two-hour voyage into sub-orbital space.
“It’ll certainly be the most momentous moment of my life and my children’s lives,” Branson told CNN. “It’ll be very difficult to ever cap it I think. Anyone who has ever been into space says the same thing.”
Virgin executives said the figure was a milestone as it exceeds the existing number of space veterans. Six hundred are expected to fly in the first two years of service.
Launched from a carrier vessel known as WhiteKnightTwo, Virgin Galactic’s space ship can carry two pilots and six passengers. SpaceShipTwo is currently undergoing testing in the Mojave Desert in California, although a replica was on display at Farnborough.
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- Branson’s children to join him on first space trip (nzherald.co.nz)
- Farnborough Airshow: Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship in UK debut (telegraph.co.uk)
- Branson to take his children on first space flight (sfgate.com)
- Virgin to launch small satellites (bbc.co.uk)