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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?

Is there anything else either flight will do first that Branson would like to be under his name instead of Bezos?

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    $\begingroup$ First person to finance his own vehicle (or its company) to space? $\endgroup$
    – DarkDust
    Jul 2 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ first to 80km, and call it "space"?(rest of the world is of opinion that 100km = space) $\endgroup$ Jul 2 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I don't necessarily want trivial. Something new is happening here and it will likely be recorded in history as "Richard Branson was the first to do X" as a major standalone achievement. I am aware how trivial that list can get $\endgroup$
    – Machavity
    Jul 2 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ @RussellBorogove yep. For airplanes. And an additional requirement was that you need to be an active member of the air force. Branson used a big crowbar and some vaseline, to make an outdated and insular qualification work for him, but tacks on the international label for what he does. It.....cheapens the accomplishment, to have to bend the rules like that. Like running a 4-minute mile, but your mile is 1600m long "because that's the size of the track at the stadium" $\endgroup$ Jul 2 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon Guy Laliberte (first clown in space ctvnews.ca/polopoly_fs/1.4094504.1536948978!/httpImage/…) appears to be a billionaire now. No idea about then. $\endgroup$ Jul 2 at 21:00
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Richard Branson will be there first person launched into space* on a rocket he owns/built**.

*The 80km altitude he will reach is a contested definition of space.

**The rocket is owned/built by the Virgin Galactic, but he is founder and largest shareholder.

This is probably the least contrived record to be set.

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