Billionaire Richard Branson has been training to become an astronaut, and believes that he will be in space within months.
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said that he will be one of the first space tourists, after revealing that he has been training to become an astronaut.
With increased efforts to get Virgin Galactic, his commercial space travel company, operational, he expects first launch within months.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) March 1, 2017
“We’re talking about months not years – so it’s close. There are exciting times ahead,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Monday.
Branson’s ambitions are shared by tech giant Elon Musk and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, each of whom is working independently to create commercial space travel services.
In the 76-year-old billionaire’s opinion, the real race is between him and Bezos.
“I think we’re both neck and neck as to who will put people into space first,” he said, referring to Bezos and himself.
“Ultimately we have to do it safely. It’s more a race with ourselves to make sure we have the craft that are safe to put people up there.”
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) March 21, 2017
However, he is the alone among the three with his ambitions of becoming the first space tourist.
“I’m going for astronaut training, I’m going for fitness training, centrifuge and other training so that my body will hopefully cope well when I go to space.”
He has been doing excessive exercise alongside special training that astronauts go through.
“Instead of doing one set of tennis every morning and every evening I’m doing two sets. I’m going kiting and biking, doing whatever it takes to make me as fit as possible.”
Adding that “if you’re going to really enjoy the experience, the fitter you can be the better”.
ICYMI Virgin Spaceship Unity completed her first supersonic, rocket-powered flight in Mojave, California last week reaching a speed of Mach 1.87.VSS Unity is the first #SpaceShipTwo in a fleet of spaceships proudly built by The Spaceship Company.
Posted by Virgin Galactic on Sunday, April 8, 2018
Virgin Galactic achieved their first successful supersonic test flight of its SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket ship earlier this year.
It was their first flight attempt after the 2014 crash in the Californian desert, which left on pilot killed and another injured.