Virgin Galactic Launch: How to Watch and Live Stream

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Richard Branson finally went into space on Sunday.

It’s been a long wait for Mr Branson, the irreverent 70-year-old British billionaire who leads a galaxy of Virgin companies. In 2004, he founded Virgin Galactic to provide adventure tourists with trips to the edge of space and back in rocket-powered airplanes.

At the time, he thought commercial service would begin in two to three years. Instead, nearly 17 years passed. Virgin Galactic says it needs to run three more test flights, including Sunday, before it’s ready for paying passengers.

The cars took Mr Branson and his crew on the plane on Sunday, and the plane took off at around 10:40 am on Sunday morning from Spaceport America in New Mexico, about 180 miles south of Albuquerque.

The spaceplane left the carrier at around 11:25 am and fired its engine for about 60 seconds, carrying Mr Branson and his crew into space. Video footage from the live broadcast showed he and the crew experiencing weightlessness.

Minutes later, the plane glided back to Earth and soon landed safely on the spaceport’s runway. Speaking to a camera in the cabin of the plane during the glide, Mr Branson described it as “an experience of a lifetime”.

More than an hour later, the stunned Mr Branson took a stage with his teammates.

“Everything was magical,” he said.

Chris HadfieldThe Canadian astronaut, whose performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” from the space station went viral a few years ago, later attached his wings to the crew’s flight suits and officially designated them as astronauts.

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