By CCN.com: Who would have thought that the newfangled space race would be funded by nerdy billionaires, one of whom has been knighted? That’s exactly what’s happening and now the countdown has begun to see which will be the first to actually send humans into space on one of their creations. In the running is Elon Musk, who shot a Tesla into space last year. There’s also Jeff Bezos, who wants to put people on the moon. And then there’s Sir Richard Branson. Not only does the founder of the Virgin Group have ideas that put him at the forefront of the space race, but he also seems to be the closest of the three to actually turning his dreams into reality. He put the world on notice with a tweet Friday.
So excited to announce that @virgingalactic‘s spaceport is now operationally ready to host our remaining test flight program and welcome our very first Future Astronauts https://t.co/jfzCvaTOEu pic.twitter.com/qojMoM4t6K
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) August 16, 2019
Is Sir Richard Branson really closer or just bragging again?
We’ve heard similar bragging from Richard Branson before about his Virgin Galactic. In July, he said the first launch will be from the company’s spaceport in New Mexico. Six people can be accommodated, and already 600 people have paid $250,000 each for the ride.
Richard Branson has been stingy with details, such as the exact date of the first launch, so this latest tweet was good news for those keeping tabs on his exploration plans. Virgin Galactic recently merged with Social Capital Hedosophia to create the world’s first publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company, as CCN.com previously reported.
The toys of billionaires: space rockets
Many are just hearing about the strides billionaires Musk, Bezos, and Branson have been making in space exploration. However, these three have been up to it for years. In Richard Branson’s case, it’s been nearly 15 years. The amount of time he’s invested in his project is another reason he sits at the top in the space race.
Bezos has said he’s had a love affair with space exploration since he was a child. As an adult, he founded Blue Origin, which is developing a lunar lander that could land humans on the surface of the moon.
Musk’s SpaceX has had major success launching rockets off of pads in the middle of the ocean and having them mind-bogglingly land on that very spot. Those successes, coupled with that launch of a Tesla into space, show that he’s got some real talent.
While Bezos’ efforts are commendable, it’s Musk who’s likely in Richard Branson’s rearview space mirror.