A child who once dreamed of looking at the stars became an adult on a spaceship

Minjun Son


Image source: Virgin Galactic

British billionaire Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group, flew into the sky at 7:40 a.m. on the 11th at the Spaceport Space Center in New Mexico, aboard Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft ‘VSS Unity’. Branson reached an altitude of 88.5 km and returned to Earth after experiencing a state of “microgravity” with almost no gravity for about 4 minutes. With Branson’s successful space flight, the world’s expectations for space tourism are growing.

After returning to Earth, Branson took to the podium and said, “I was once a child who dreamed of looking at the stars, but now I am an adult on a spaceship overlooking our beautiful planet. It still feels like being in space.”

Born on July 18, 1950, a week before his 71st birthday, he finally fulfilled his lifelong dream. He even set a historic milestone as the ‘first’ in the space tourism competition between Earth’s billionaires. Branson’s flight was 9 days earlier than Amazon’s chairman Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin, an American space exploration company.

With the success of Branson’s flight, the race for three billionaires is expected to intensify. Virgin Galactic plans to start full commercial service next year after two additional test flights. Among the reservations, not only Tesla CEO Elon Musk, but also many famous Hollywood actors such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tom Hanks are included.

The private space tourism market is expected to expand. UBS Group predicts that by 2030, the global space tourism business will generate annual profits of 4 billion dollars.

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