Branson's Virgin Galactic to be in space by December 25, says report

Virgin Galactic will take people to space by Christmas, says Richard Branson

Yes, you read that correctly - after the test pilots have successfully flown SpaceShipTwo (Virgin Galactic's flagship spacecraft) into space, Branson himself will be the first civilian passenger to make the trip.

Multi-billionaire businessman, Richard Branson, revealed on Friday that the Virgin Galactic Company would be expected to make a breakthrough in spaceflight before Christmas. But, the first few flights to space will be "the unsafe ones". "I'm not allowed up until the [test pilots] have broken it in a few times, first", he said. "I would love to have gone on this very [first] flight, but [pilots] are incredibly courageous people".

Responding to questions, Richard Branson revealed that competitive forces including the Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin concept of flying into space has been a major contributory factor that has made him accelerate the Virgin Galactic space flight before the end of the year.

Earlier this year, the company resumed powered test flights of the rebuilt SpaceShipTwo, named VSS Unity. Tourists are eager, though.

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As Crane noted, Virgin Galactic has a track record of promising that the company is close to transporting people to space only to fall short. The company was founded in 2004 and originally was scheduled to begin flights in 2007. Yet, this trip would let the tourists experience weightlessness and give them a mesmerizing view of the Earth's curved horizon, wrote Futurism. Still, Branson said that he is "reasonably confident that before Christmas we will [send people to space]".

With all the recent excitement about colonizing the Moon and visiting Mars, Virgin Galactic's decade-plus experiment with sub-orbital space tourism has always seemed like the one space venture that never quite took flight. "So none of us will race to be the first", Branson said. "Elon's done extraordinary things", Branson admitted to CNN. Jeff, I'm sure, will do extraordinary things.

In 2014, SpaceShipTwo's design and flight control systems were overhauled after a test flight crash killed a co-pilot. The demand for space travel, whether it's satellites, putting people into space, is enormous...

Branson is known to set deadlines that aren't met. Eleven years later, the firm is still working on getting its 600 customers into space. Branson considered abandoning the project but said he was convinced to carry on by a massive outpouring of public support.

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