Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, (SPCE) - Get Virgin Galactic Report has announced that he will be a member of the six-person crew aboard the VSS Unity craft that will orbit the earth on July 11th.
In this surprise move, Branson will beat billionaire and Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos to space who is scheduled to be on a July 20th flight.
Branson tweeted, "It’s one thing to have a dream of making space more accessible to all; it’s another for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality".
The Space Race between the two has been a tight one and both are focused on space tourism as the model for their respective companies.
Space X founder Elon Musk has turned his attention to reusable rockets that have been used for deploying satellites and supplying the International Space Station.
Recent private-sector space exploration, commercialization, and technology development seem to be accelerating at warp speed.