FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — The first space flight of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture will be a family affair: The billionaire adventurer confirmed Wednesday he will be joined by his two adult children.
The British tycoon behind the Virgin business empire that spans cable television, airlines and space tourism revealed that the three will make the journey 62-miles (100 kilometers) above the Earth aboard the SpaceshipTwo (SS2) next year. Some 120 other tourists who have signed up for the $200,000 two-hour trips into space over the coming years were also present at the Farnborough Airshow south of London.
“Next year, Holly and Sam will be joining me for a first voyage into space,” the thrill-seeker told a packed conference on the third day of the show. “Going into space is a hard business. It keeps my mind buzzing.”
Virgin says it has 529 paid up passengers already — one more than the total of space travelers since the former Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin became the first man to go into space in 1961.