British billionaire Richard Branson landed safely in New Mexico on Sunday after his flight into space, according to AFP reporter on site
The VSS Unity spacecraft, which also carried two pilots and three other passengers, touched down on a runway at Spaceport America at approximately 10:40 a.m. local time (4:40 p.m. GMT).
A “once in a lifetime experience”
Richard Branson, still aboard the ship coming down to earth, described a “once in a lifetime experience”. He is the first billionaire to have made the trip in a device developed by a company he himself founded, beating Jeff Bezos who is due to rob him on July 20.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 11, 2021
The Briton embarked, with three other passengers and two pilots, aboard the hung vessel, taking off, under a carrier plane. The latter gained altitude for about fifty minutes before jettisoning the spaceship which ignited its own engine to begin a supersonic ascent. Objective: to exceed 80 km in altitude, the height set in the United States for the border of space.
Once the engine is off, passengers can detach from their seats to float for a few minutes in zero gravity, and admire the curvature of the Earth from one of the cabin’s 12 portholes. After a peak at about 90 km altitude, the ship will descend while hovering.