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Richard Branson is going to space, 9 days before Jeff Bezos is planned to blast off

If all the billionaires go into space, who gets their money?

richard branson

What do you do for a hobby when you’re richer than most of the planet put together? Chess? Car collecting? How about going into outer space in your own, self-financed rocket ship? The latest billionaire to decide they want to leave gravity behind is Sir Richard Branson, British entrepreneur, and owner of the Virgin empire, which owns music labels, dubious fizzy drinks, and now a rocket company, Virgin Galactic.

The best part? He’s going to beat Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to the cold vacuum of space, as Branson is leaving the earth behind on July 11. Yes, nine days before Bezos and his brother are scheduled to launch on their Blue Origin rocket.

We can only imagine how irritated that makes Bezos, possibly more so than every time Bernard Arnault leapfrogs his net worth to take the title of the richest man in the world.

The flight on July 11 for Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft will be the first flight for the craft with a full crew, and one passenger – CEO Sir Richard Branson. It’s not a traditional rocket, instead, it launches from a carrier aircraft, designed to fly up to an altitude of 55 miles.

That’s enough to go past the NASA definition of space, of 50 miles, but maybe Bezos will have the last laugh. See, the Blue Origin spacecraft can reach an altitude of 66 miles, so in a race to say how far from the confines of gravity they’ve launched, at least Bezos will have the bragging rights.

If you want to follow along as a billionaire realizes his idle fascination with outer space, Virgin Galactic will be livestreaming the launch starting at 9 am ET on July 11.

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