Richard Branson Becomes First Billionaire To Go to Space | 22 Words

Richard Branson became the first billionaire to travel into space after taking flight in his own Virgin Galactic rocket on Sunday, going fifty miles above the Earth.

"It was the complete experience of a lifetime," the seventy-year-old British entrepreneur said, as per the New York Post. "Now looking down at the spaceport, congratulations to everybody for creating such a beautiful plane and all the hard work for getting us this far."

Branson set off with 5 others on July 11th, just after 8:30 a.m from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Less than an hour after takeoff, the plane released its rocket at an altitude of fifty-three miles. The crew was then able to experience a few minutes of weightlessness before making their return journey around 9:40 a.m.

According to the Daily Mail, speaking to a crowd of spectators afterward, Branson said: "Like most kids, I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid. But nothing can prepare you for the view of Earth from space, the whole thing was just magical."

Branson later posted a video of himself saying: "To all you kids down there, I was once a child with a dream, looking up to the stars. Now I'm an adult in a spaceship, with lots of other wonderful adults looking down at our beautiful, beautiful Earth.

"To the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do."

"Initially, I thought testing the customer experience was a little bit of an excuse to get me on it. It wasn't … It's so great to get out there and test the customer experience," he said. "You get lists and lists of the little things and it's the little details that matter."

Branson wasn't due to fly until later this summer but changed his plans after Jeff Bezos announced that he would be taking his own rocket into space on July 20, although Branson has denied this.

The billionaire later shared a video of himself cycling up to the facility for takeoff on the passenger rocket plane...

"You're late! Come on! Let's get suited up," Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor, could be heard saying to him.

Before the launch, Branson also tweeted a photo of himself with SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who was there to cheer him on.

"Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready," Branson wrote on Twitter.

Jeff Bezos, the third mogul in the "billionaire space race," also wished Branson luck on Instagram.

"Wishing you and the whole team a successful and safe flight tomorrow. Best of luck!" he wrote.

Branson wanted the flight to promote Virgin Galactic, which already has over 600 reservations for its space flight experience, with tickets costing $250,000 apiece! Will you be purchasing a ticket to experience the trip of a lifetime?