Virgin Galactic is now saying they will launch Richard Branson on July 11
Dubbed the "Unity 22" mission, this flight on the VSS Unity spacecraft will carry a full crew of two pilots, Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, and four mission specialists, including Branson. "Building on the success of the company's most recent spaceflight in May, Unity 22 will focus on cabin and customer experience objectives," the company said in a statement.
This beats Jeff Bezos into space, currently scheduled for July 20
The timing of this flight is significant, because a July 11 mission would allow Branson to beat Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to space. Bezos has said he will fly on the first human flight of the New Shepard spacecraft, developed and tested by his Blue Origin rocket company. That mission is set for July 20.
Ignoring the publicity portion here, is there a space "first" to either launch?
- Dennis Tito was the first private citizen to buy his way into space in 2001
- SpaceX is the first company to use a privately owned spacecraft to launch people into space
- Virgin Galactic has already flown people to 80km
Is there anything else either flight will do first that Branson would like to be under his name instead of Bezos?