British Billionaire Sir Richard Branson will start off his much-talked-about journey to space with the launch of the Virgin Galactic space flight on July 11. He will be joined by five other astronauts on this journey. But did you know how this idea of going up in the space came up in Branson’s mind? Well, it all started with an innocent question by a kid who asked the billionaire if he would ever like to go in space, and the thought stuck in Branson’s mind. Sharing a video of his conversation with this kid, Branson tweeted a 1988 clip of BBC’s Saturday morning children’s show ‘Going Live!’.
Branson, who had gone on the show as a special guest, is seen answering a phone call of a child who had called to ask about his future plans to become an astronaut. Replying to the question, Branson said that he would love to go to space and see the magnificent view from the top. He jokingly told the caller that he would like to come with him if there were any plans of building a spacecraft.
Branson said that the call inspired him to work on his plan to go to space and the very next day he registered the name ‘Virgin Galactic’, reported Daily Mail. The Virgin Galatic was finally found in 2004.
Branson’s will aboard on the VSS Unity for the journey to space and the launch from the Spaceport America in New Mexico will be live-streamed on Virgin Galactic’s Twitter feed starting at 06:30 PM according to Indian time. After the launch, the VSS Unity will detach from its VMS Eve at an altitude of around 50,000 feet and fly on its own into suborbital space.
The entire journey is expected to last for about 90 minutes. The aircraft will return back to the base after touching an altitude that is expected to be slightly below the Kármán line- a line that separates Earth’s atmosphere from space. Kármán line is 100 km above the Earth’s mean sea level.
This is being dubbed the Unity 22 test flight as it’s the 22nd flight for the spaceplane. Branson will also launch on the next 3 test flights before the commercial operation of the spaceplane begins in 2022.