Sir Richard Branson vowed to defeat Jeff Bezos into space and confirmed plans to advance his first trip on the Virgin Galactic spacecraft to July 11.
After nearly two decades of research and testing by two men’s companies, Branson’s flight will be only nine days ahead of the inauguration of his billionaire rival.
“I really believe that space belongs to all of us,” Branson said in the statement.
“After 17 years of research, engineering and innovation, the new commercial aerospace industry is ready to open the universe for mankind and change the world forever.”
Virgin Galactic’s stock price plummeted 25% in after-hours trading. Its spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo Unity, has conducted three space trials in the past, Recently in May.
Last week the company was Approval The Federal Aviation Administration put paid members of the public on board, paving the way for Branson’s long-awaited flight.
Branson’s trip will be one of three further tests it plans to conduct before it starts to transport paying passengers on a six-seater aircraft.
A spokesperson for Blue Origin did not respond to requests for comment on Branson’s revised timetable. Its flight is scheduled to be launched from a location in western Texas on July 20.
There will be Bezos and his brother Mark on board, as well as the winning bidder for the third seat, which was sold at auction for $28 million last month.
Earlier on Thursday, Blue Origin announced that the fourth and last passenger on its flight would be 82-year-old American pilot Wally Fink, who participated in a controversial 1961 abandonment plan to remove women Sent into space.
The program is called Mercury 13 and involves subjecting women to the same physical and psychological screening tests as male astronauts.
The plan was subsequently cancelled by the US government, which banned the use of military equipment to train women. Astronaut John Glenn, the third American to enter space, said that sending women into space risks affecting the “social order”.
Fink, 22, is the youngest member of the Mercury 13 crew and will now become the oldest space traveler.She had previously spent $200,000 on a ticket to board a Virgin Galactic spacecraft, the Washington Post Report Thursday.
She said in a video message posted on social media: “I don’t think I will ever climb up.”
When Bezos asked what she planned to say after the Blue Origin spacecraft landed in the western Texas desert, Fink replied: “I would say,’Honey, this is the best thing that happened to me. Thing!'”