On July 11, 2021, the British businessman Richard Branson fulfilled his lifelong dream of flying into space. At 8:40 a.m., Branson’s Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity 22 and its mothership Eve took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Having reached an altitude of over 50 miles, which is the U.S. government’s definition of space, and zero gravity, Unity 22 delivered the crew, consisting of Branson and five Virgin Galactic staffers, safely back to Earth. The flight, which was a culmination of 17 years of planning, research, development, and extensive safety testing, could mark the beginning of commercial space tourism.
This article appears as “More Space Barons, Please” in the August 16, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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