Almost 50 years after dropping out of high school at age 15 and founding his first business, Sir Richard Branson is now the billionaire chair of the Virgin Group, which brings in more than $21 billion annually in global revenue. "And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years", after which point his piggybacking little spaceships will open their hatches to the paying public; beating rival nouveau billionaires Musk and Bezos to the PR win of being first to offer orbital holidays to the super rich.
"We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead", he added. He's got to find time for his health and for his family.
'I think that learning the art of delegation better would be his one flaw'.
"We should be in space within weeks, not months".
It was the first since a fatal crash in 2014, which delayed the firm's plans.
CEO George Whitesides told the Albuquerque Journal this August that while the company no longer gives a timeline for when commercial operations might begin, he said its long-anticipated move to New Mexico was drawing near.
Space tourism has turned into a hot commodity in recent years.
Even as Musk was forced to settle with the SEC over charges of securities fraud, paying a $20 million fine and stepping down as chairman of Tesla, he still appears to have the edge on Branson in the space race. The entire flight should take around 2.5 hours, though only a few minutes will actually be spent in suborbital space.
Virgin Galactic reached a top altitude of 170,800 feet (52,000 metres) during a test of its VSS Unity spacecraft, which has room for six passenger and is lifted toward space on a huge carrier aricraft, on May 29.
Departing Sydney at 9am VA9002 took to the sky with 65 special guest on board including Sir Richard Branson, media, VIP's and team members from Virgin Australia and Smiling Mind.