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Virgin Galactic Spaceship Carrying Richard Branson Touches Down, Creates History

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic crew members enter the company's passenger rocket plane, the VSS Unity, in a still image from undated handout video taken at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, U.S.     Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS.

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic crew members enter the company's passenger rocket plane, the VSS Unity, in a still image from undated handout video taken at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, U.S. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS.

Touch down occurred around 09:40 am Mountain Time (1540 GMT), about an hour after take-off.

A Virgin Galactic spaceship carrying Richard Branson touched down Sunday after a voyage the British billionaire called an “experience of a lifetime."

“Congratulations to all our wonderful team at Virgin Galactic for 17 years of hard hard work to get us this far," he said during a live feed as the VSS Unity spaceship glided back to Spaceport America in New Mexico.

It reached a peak altitude of around 53 miles (85 kilometers), beyond the boundary of space according to the United States, allowing the passengers to experience weightlessness and admire the Earth’s curvature.

Touch down occurred around 09:40 am Mountain Time (1540 GMT), about an hour after take-off.

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Branson, on spaceship, called the trip ‘experience of a lifetime’.

“Congratulations to all our wonderful team at Virgin Galactic for 17 years of hard, hard work to get us this far," he said during a live feed as the VSS Unity spaceship glided back to Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The trip proceeded without drama, and touchdown occurred at around 9:40 am Mountain Time (1540 GMT), about an hour after take-off.

The mission’s success means Branson has beaten fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos in the race to be the first tycoon to cross the final frontier in a ship built by a company he founded.

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first published:July 11, 2021, 21:33 IST