The modern space race is heating up, with a handful of billionaires looking to see Earth from high above as soon as this month, and one billionaire becoming the first to reach space over the weekend.
Following Virgin Galactic’s first trip to space over the weekend, Elon Musk has purchased a ticket to head to space with fellow billionaire Richard Branson and his space exploration company Virgin Galactic, confirmed a spokesperson for the latter to The Wall Street Journal.
Branson became the first billionaire to head to space on Sunday, aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft 55 miles above sea level.
Tickets are $250,000 USD for a one-hour trip, and the report says that Musk was one of roughly 600 people to put down a $10,000 deposit, effectively securing his seat.
On the purchase, Branson said, “Elon’s a friend and maybe I’ll travel on one of his ships one day.”
Big day ahead. Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 11, 2021
Musk, who owns SpaceX and has also expressed major space ambitions – including plans to go to Mars someday – visited Branson at 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning before his flight to offer him a good luck wish.
On the morning of the flight, Branson said, “Big day ahead. Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready.” The post also included a picture of Branson with Musk in the Virgin Galactic founder’s home (the Tesla and SpaceX CEO barefoot nonetheless).
Other celebrities who have purchased tickets from Virgin Galactic include Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, among others still.