Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT) July 11, 2021
Richard Branson, through his company Virgin Galactic, is set to become the first billionaire to travel to space aboard a spacecraft he helped fund.
It’s happening nine days before the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, is scheduled to make his own spaceflight.
Since the early 2000s, Branson and Bezos have been vying to develop, test and launch suborbital rockets that can take wealthy thrill-seekers on brief rides a few dozen miles above Earth. Their efforts have long been framed as a “billionaire space race.”