Billionaire Richard Branson To Be Among First Space Passengers Aboard Virgin Galactic’s Maiden Voyage

In the first part of 2013 the team at Virgin Galactic will launch its maiden voyage into space and aboard that flight will be billionaire owner and adventurist Richard Branson and his family members.

Branson is no stranger to adrenaline rushes including his balloon and wind sailing adventures, the latter for which he sent a record while crossing the English Channel.

Sir Branson made the announcement on Thursday while attending the Farnborough Air Show in Southwest England. Branson was at the event to unveil a full-size replicate of the six-passenger SS2 spaceship he hopes to ride into space.

Blasting off from Spaceport America in New Mexico the SS2 will be occupied by Richard Branson and his immediate family members.

The trip which will travel 60 miles and last two-hours in space comes at a tremendous cost of $200,000 per passenger. We’re assuming Sir Richard Branson will be able to ride for free since its fortune financing the program.

At this time 529 people from around the world have already signed up for a flight aboard Virgin Galactic. Passengers range from physicist Stephen Hawking to actor Ashton Kutcher.

The exact launch date for the maiden voyage has not been set as Virgin Galactic continues to test its new systems for flight readiness.

If flights aboard Virgin Galactic are a success the company is already eyeing a second spaceport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Spaceport America

According to Sir Richard Branson:

“Virgin Galactic’s goal is to revolutionise the way we get to space. I’m immensely proud of what we have already achieved as we draw near to regular suborbital flights on SpaceShipTwo.”

If you have questions for Mr. Branson you can always try him on Twitter:

Would you pay $200,000 to travel into space for 2 hours if you had the money?