Richard Branson takes a stand on mental health

Richard Branson takes a stand on mental health

That said, there appear to be some serious players in this nascent market, the most prominent of which, aside from Virgin Galactic, are Blue Origin, led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and SpaceX, run by Elon Musk.

But Sir Richard has a long history of underestimating the time it takes his firm to get test flights into the air, and the company has repeatedly missed his lofty targets.

Virgin Galactic is a few steps behind its main competitor SpaceX, which last month announced it will be sending its first private citizen around the moon in 2023 - Japanese online fashion businessman Yusaku Maezawa.

"So we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead,"he said".

When asked whether he had any concerns about consumer demand regarding fare-paying space flights, Branson said: "If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it". The 42-second burn blasted it to 171,000 feet, almost five times the cruising altitude of a transatlantic passenger plane.

Keep an eye on the sky this month, as Virgin Galactic gears up to finally take its first trip to space.

More news: United States intelligence knew Khashoggi was targeted

According to the businessman, "The market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is big".

To reach the Karman line, a spaceship has to cruise at an altitude of 100 kilometers above sea level. "And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater to that demand", he added.

Branson's pursuit of commercializing space travel began in 2004 when he founded Virgin Galactic. Branson told CNBC that he doesn't expect the price to drop any time soon, saying he'd like to see it level out to around $US40,000 ($56,133) to $US50,000 ($70,167) over the next 10 years. Right now the price of a Virgin Galactic ticket is nearly $250,000-and it won't be dropping anytime soon.

All Virgin Australia guests will also have access to the Smiling Mind app guided meditations via the Inflight Entertainment System, enabling the reduction of stress and anxiety during the flight.

In fact, Branson once said in an interview that he's "embarrassed" by displays of wealth, like leaving large tips and buying things for "pure luxury".

The SpaceShipTwo spaceplane can carry six passengers and two pilots, with each ticket costing $US250,000 ($350,834).

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