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DiCaprio, Bieber set to visit space as Virgin Galactic celebrate first successful tour

Barely two weeks after the devastating implosion of the Tatanic submersible, Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company founded by Richard Branson, has successfully launched its first paying customers to the edge of space.

The VSS Unity craft arrived space at about 9:30 a.m. local time in New Mexico, on Thursday carrying six people on board, including researchers from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy.

According to findings, the commercial launch officially brings Virgin Galactic into the range of space tourism providers like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin LLC.

So far, Virgin Galactic has sold about 800 tickets, including 600 at prices up to $250,000 and another couple hundred at $450,000 per ticket. The company has had big plans for this spaceflight model. Much earlier, while still in its planning days, the company took deposits from A-list personalities including Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

It was learnt that the company has been working for over a decade to send paying passengers on short space journeys. In 2021, it finally got the federal government’s approval to do so. The initial commercial flight which finally happened on Thursday, included members of the Italian Air Force who planned on conducting experiments. The company informed that the next set of customers will be those who had purchased tickets years ago for their chance at weightlessness onboard a winged spacecraft that launches from the belly of a plane.

Virgin Galactic now say that it expects to resume a regular cadence of monthly commercial flights, bringing in much-needed revenue. The successful launch of paying customers marks a significant milestone for the company, which has been losing money for years, burning through funds as it has attempted to finish its test flights and begin welcoming customers.

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