Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson is aiming to beat fellow billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos into space by nine days.
Branson’s company announced its next test flight will be July 11 and its founder will be among six people on board. The rocket ship will soar from New Mexico – the first carrying a full crew of company employees. It will be only the fourth trip to space for Virgin Galactic.
The news came just hours after Bezos’ Blue Origin said he would be accompanied into space on July 20 by a female aerospace pioneer who’s waited 60 years to rocket away.
Bezos chose July 20 as his launch date – the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He assigned himself to the flight just a month ago, the final stretch in a yearslong race to space between the two rich rocketeers.
Branson tweeted, “I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality.”