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Richard Branson to beat Jeff Bezos in billionaire’s space race on July 11 flight

BREAKING NEWS: Battle of the billionaires! Richard Branson announces he will head into space on Virgin Galactic’s July 11 test flight as Astronaut 001 – beating Jeff Bezos’ trip on his Blue Origin spacecraft by nine days

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson is planning to beat Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos into space by nine days after announcing plans to be Astronaut 001 on the firm’s July 11 test flight. 

Bezos had already announced in June that he would be heading to space on July 20 alongside his brother on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spacecraft, but Branson now appears to have him beat by nine days.

‘After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry, which is set to open space to humankind and change the world for good,’ Branson said in a statement.

Virgin Galactic´s Richard Branson is planning to beat Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos being the first to blast off into space on their July 11 flight. Branson is pictured in 2019

Virgin Galactic´s Richard Branson is planning to beat Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos being the first to blast off into space on their July 11 flight. Branson is pictured in 2019

‘I’m honoured to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin. 

It will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth test spaceflight and the first mission with a crew of four on board.

Branson will be taking off alongside Chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor who flew to space on the company’s second spaceflight mission. 

Colin Bennett, the company’s lead operations engineer, will also join the flight. He will be Astronaut 003.

Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s vice president of government affairs and research operations will also be on board as Astronaut 004. 

Bezos had already announced in June that he would be heading to space on July 20 alongside his brother on Blue Origin's New Shepherd spacecraft, but Branson now appears to have him beat by nine days

Bezos had already announced in June that he would be heading to space on July 20 alongside his brother on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spacecraft, but Branson now appears to have him beat by nine days

Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, who flew to space on the company’s second spaceflight mission will be on board

Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, who flew to space on the company’s second spaceflight mission will be on board

Colin Bennett, the company’s lead operations engineer, will also join the flight

Colin Bennett, the company’s lead operations engineer, will also join the flight

Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s vice president of government affairs and research operations

Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s vice president of government affairs and research operations

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