We all know that Sir Richard Branson is willing to go to space aboard Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft. Since 2004, the UK businessman has been investing in commercial space travel. However, it looks like he wants to hasten the process. The 67-years old tycoon told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme that soon, he is going to space.
“We’re talking about months not years – so it’s close. There are exciting times ahead,” he said. “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.”
Currently, Sir Richard Branson, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk are in a race to become the first to get passengers in space. Although Sir Richard thinks Mr. Musk is doing just fantastic by sending cargo into space and developing bigger rockets, he suggests the real struggle is between him and Mr. Bezos.
“I think we’re both neck and neck as to who will put people into space first. 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,” said Sir Richard Branson.
In order to become one of those first space tourists, he has gone through under intense fitness training by playing tennis four times a day, kiting, as well as biking to make himself as fit as possible. Besides, he has joined demanding centrifuge training that recreates the pressure human body endures during spaceflight.
“If you’re going to really enjoy the experience, the fitter you can be the better,” he said.
The company completed a supersonic test flight of its SpaceShip Two passenger rocket ship earlier this year. It was the company’s first powered flight following the crash of the previous craft high over the Californian desert in 2014, which left one pilot dead and other seriously injured.