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Richard Branson Will Beat Jeff Bezos to Space

Virgin Galactic announced that it will send a spacecraft into space on Thursday, July 11, and that Branson will be on board.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Virgin Galactic, a company founded in 2004 by Richard Branson, announced that it will send a spacecraft into space on Thursday, July 11, and that Branson will be on board. These trips can be delayed due to bad weather or some risk situation, but if it goes as planned, Branson will pass Jeff Bezos in this space race.

Virgin Galactic vía Facebook

"Unity 22", the Virgin Galactic mission, will take off from New Mexico and reach 88 km altitude, which is considered the edge of space. Like the Blue Origin trip, it is estimated to take approximately 10 minutes. There will only be six people on board and all are employees of the company. The pilots who will be in command are Dave Mckay and Michael Masucci.

Related: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, NASA Team Up to Simulate Lunar Gravity

The news broke on Thursday, July 1, a few weeks after Bezos announced the date of his trip. Bezos's company Blue Origin will conduct the space flight on July 20 in honor of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The mission "Unity 22" will be broadcast on a livestream so that the world can experience the journey with the crew.

The company plans to have another two test flights before commercial travel becomes available, but they expect it to be a possibility in 2022.

"We are at the forefront of a new industry, determined to create 21st-century space technology that will make space open to all and change the world for the better," Branson said.