British Engineering icon Sir Richard Branson is set to realise his life’s ambition to fly to the edge of space today.
Branson is set to board his Virgin Galactic rocket plane today and blasts off to boundary of space – 50 miles above the Earths surface.
Officially Branson has stated he wants to ‘evaluate’ the Virgin Galatic experience before paying customers board the craft but unofficially the UK businessman is aiming to beat billionaire Jeff Bezos into space before his New Shepard crewed flight on 20 July.
The journey to this point has taken almost two decades. Branson first announced the space plane in 2004 and wanted commercial service available by 2007.
When is it happening
The virgin flight will last 1.5-hours and set off from New Mexico at 08:30 US time (15:30 BST) and the event will be streamed by Virgin Galactic.
Virgin will be using Unity spacecraft for its commercial flight, the craft will sit on top of a larger plane until it reaches 50,000ft and then be released, ignite its rocket and head into the edge of space.
Unity is rated to fly to 50 miles above the Earths surface which the US considers the edge of space. This will allow passengers to experience a few minutes of true weightlessness as they float around the craft looking back at Earth before returning to Earth.