Richard Branson says he'll put Virgin Galactic in space 'within weeks'

Virgin Galactic will be in space in “weeks not months,” says Branson

In an interview, Virgin owner Richard Branson has said that the Galactic space flight is set to launch, not in months, but literally weeks! He told CNBC that the company will be flying in space "within weeks".

In Singapore, billionaire and founder of Virgin, said that the company is close to launching its first mission into space, he hopes to briefly leave the Ground - and not even in the coming years and months, writes naked-science.

Branson has previously said he thinks Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin would both "have a person in space roundabout the same time".

But while Sir Richard believes Musk is "doing fantastically well" in getting cargo into space - including his own vehicle - the real tussle is between the Virgin boss and Bezos.

A ticket into space on board a Virgin Galactic flight will be a costly £192,000 ($250,000) - but "ultimately" he would expect it to fall to £31,000 ($40,000) within a decade. The original expected launch date was April 2018.

Talking to BBC Radio 4 earlier this year, the 68-year-old said he had been undergoing astronaut training in readiness for his first space flight. His training includes extensive tennis and cycling. The next phase of testing will see the rockets test their endurance and range, hopefully soon reaching the limits of space.

Virgin Galactic is now in a tight race with Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin to launch the first space passenger flight which will bring paying passengers within the boundaries of Earth's atmosphere and space known as the Karman line.

Three companies are leading the charge in commercial space travel as they race to get tourists beyond orbit. "And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater with that demand". Asked in the interview whether he was confident enough people would pay for tickets, he told CNBC: "If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it".

"I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is very big".

The previous test flight was successfully conducted in the Mojave desert a few months ago, and the goal of a billionaire are test flights as quickly as possible to get to space. This was a positive step forward after Virgin Galactic's 2014 fatal crash that killed test pilot Michael Alsbury and injured pilot Peter Siebold.

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