Billionaire Branson’s Blastoff Beats Bezos.

There are worse things for billionaires to compete over.

Richard Branson reached space on a test flight for Virgin Galactic before gliding back to earth and touching down safely Sunday, the latest salvo in the burgeoning space tourism business led by high-profile billionaires.

The Virgin Group founder launched Sunday with three company employees, flying 53 miles above the earth in a final test mission before kicking off commercial space flights next year. Branson – who earned his pilot’s license – tested the astronaut cabin experience.

Continue reading Billionaire Branson’s Blastoff Beats Bezos.

Virgin Galactic gets them some astronauts.

Erm: “Virgin Galactic’s tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of space.”  So does the USAF, dagnabbit.  Heck, the article itself noted that the FAA was going to give the pilots (Mark Stucky and Rick Sturckow) their commercial astronaut wings over this.  There’s been, like, only two of those handed out before now.

Still: this is awesome.  We are long overdue for manned commercial space travel. I want the future that was promised me.