LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Richard Branson on Sunday became the first billionaire to rocket into space, and about 90 minutes later, returned to talk about it.
Science and space enthusiasts watched the entire event live, from the takeoff of the mothership in New Mexico to the release at about 45,000 feet of the rocket powered space-plane Unity.READ MORE: Strike Averted: IATSE And AMPTP Have 'Basic Contract' Agreement, Per Officials With The Theatrical Stage Employees Union
The 2,400 mile per hour ride took Branson and three other civilians 50 miles up, to the inner-edge of space. The passengers got to experience weightlessness and look at the earth from a unique perspective.
“It’s literally the experience of a lifetime,” Branson said while in flight.
Branson beat out billionaire competitor Jeff Bezos who’s set to ride his company’s rocket in coming days and space-baron Elon Musk.READ MORE: Bill Clinton Expected To Be Released From UCI Medical Center Sunday
The price tag for upcoming civilian flights on Virgin Galactic’s space-plan are going for about $250,000.
Space enthusiasts said that the ultimate goal of a flight like the one Branson completed today is to make space flight safer and more accessible, and usher in a new age of exploration.
“People understanding about science and technology and how that contributes to not only space travel, but the solutions for climate change, the understanding of how to use these sciences and technologies to solve our world’s most pressing problems,” rocket scientist Olympia LePoint told CBSLA.MORE NEWS: Three Teenagers Critically Wounded At Halloween House Party In Whittier