Space race heats up as billionaires try to be first to the stars


DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — The space race is heating up. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and virgin group founder Richard Branson each have their own plans for commercial space travel and exploration.

One of them wants to be the first to leave Earth. Monday, Bezos announced he was headed to space come July. But Branson is trying to get there first.

On Monday, the space blog Parabolic Arc published an exclusive story citing an anonymous source who claims Branson’s spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic, has plans to launch Branson during the holiday weekend.

The timing would barely beat Jeff Bezos. The Amazon founder made headlines this week when he announced plans to fly his own Blue Origin rocket alongside his brother, Mark, on July 20.

Branson congratulated the Bezos brothers on Twitter. “Jeff started building @BlueOrigin in 2000,” Branson wrote. “We started building @VirginGalactic in 2004. And now both are opening up access to Space – how extraordinary! Watch this space…”

Virgin Galactic reportedly started to plan for Branson’s launch after Blu origins announcement of the July 20 flight, but before Bezos announced he would be on board. Each of these companies hope to open space tourism to the masses.

“By the end of this century, I hope that hundreds of thousands of people will have had the chance of becoming astronauts,” Branson said in a promotional video.

Musk has famously said he’d like to die on Mars, but he’s the only billionaire of this group that’s yet to announce his own plans to get to space.

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