Richard Branson Will Beat Jeff Bezos As The First Billionaire In Space

July 2, 2021 / Posted by:

The desperate space race between Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson appears to have reached its denouement. And it looks like Jeff Bezos won’t be the one to turn on his Amazon-brand helmet mic and utter, “That’s one small step for billionaire men, one giant leap for billionairekind.” Between Jeff, Richard, and space-obsessed weirdo Elon Musk, it was inevitable that one of them would open their wallet faster than the others, dump a ton of cash into their respective intergalactic vanity projects, and be the first billionaire in space. After a bunch of back and forth, the bragging rights are probably going to go to Richard Branson.

Sir Richard first launched his space dreams back in 2004, when he created Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight company that he was hoping to get off the ground (no pun intended) as soon as possible. Elon Musk launched his company, SpaceX, in 2002, and he also has yet to go into space. Just last month, Jeff Bezos announced he and his brother Mark Bezos are jetting into space on July 20th, on a ship courtesy of Jeff’s space exploration company, Blue Origin. Richard’s first trip to space wasn’t scheduled to happen until later this year, but this whole situation with Jeff very quickly turned into a zero-gravity dick measuring contest, and it wasn’t long before Richard’s flight suddenly got bumped up a couple of months to July 4th. A Virgin Galactic flight was already planning to leave on the 4th, and it sounded like Richard was planning to tag along.

TMZ is reporting that Richard Branson is scheduled to leave Earth and soar around the Kármán line on July 11th, just nine days before Jeff’s little trip to space:

Virgin Galactic says Branson will be joined by 2 pilots and 3 other astronauts on the spaceflight, with Richard “testing the private astronaut experience”…a fancy phrase for the views from space, the cabin, seating and zero gravity. Richard’s company says the spaceflight on Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo rocket plane will stream live on social media, and the mission’s been dubbed “Unity 22.”

They also confirmed the news with a Virgin Galactic promo video, which feels like if someone dragged the puppets from Thunderbirds out of storage and forced them into a brand partnership with Under Armour. Richard, aka Astronaut 001, says that his role on July 11th’s flight is to test and evaluate the customer spaceflight experience. But in far less formal terms, his role is: HA HA HA YOU LOST, BEZOS.

Jeff said that going to space is a childhood dream, and it’s also Richard’s dream. Except Richard’s dream is also an egalitarian one, where everyone can fuck up their equilibrium for a couple of hours and destroy 8.7 tons of fossil fuels, just to blast into space for funsies.

“I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. This July, our dream will become a reality. And we’re really excited to share that moment with you all. And when we return, I will announce something very exciting to give more people the chance to become astronauts. Because space does belong to us all.”

Richard’s trip will be live-streamed on July 11th. I can’t wait to tune in for that very exciting special announcement when he gets back. Fingers crossed that he’s about to reveal that the Earth looks even more messed up from space and that he’s scrapping future space flights and donating all his billions to fight climate change. Or maybe the announcement will be 2-for-1 space flight coupons. The excitement is killing me!


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