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Pictures | Sun Jul 11, 2021 | 8:16pm EDT

Virgin Galactic's Branson soars to space aboard rocket plane

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, carrying billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew, descends after reaching the edge of space above Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, July 11, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, carrying billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew, descends after reaching the edge of space above Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, July 11, 2021. REUTERS/Joe...more

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, carrying billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew, descends after reaching the edge of space above Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, July 11, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Billionaire Richard Branson floats in zero gravity on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Billionaire Richard Branson floats in zero gravity on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Billionaire Richard Branson floats in zero gravity on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Billionaire Richard Branson reacts on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space.    Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Billionaire Richard Branson reacts on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space.    Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Billionaire Richard Branson reacts on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after reaching the edge of space.    Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity begins its ascent to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity begins its ascent to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity begins its ascent to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson celebrates with crew members Sirisha Bandla, Beth Moses and Colin Bennett after the flight. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson celebrates with crew members Sirisha Bandla, Beth Moses and Colin Bennett after the flight. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson celebrates with crew members Sirisha Bandla, Beth Moses and Colin Bennett after the flight. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its ascent to the edge of space.    Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its ascent to the edge of space.    Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its ascent to the edge of space.    Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson sprays the crew with champagne after they were announced as astronauts. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson sprays the crew with champagne after they were announced as astronauts. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson sprays the crew with champagne after they were announced as astronauts. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity descends after reaching the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity descends after reaching the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity descends after reaching the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Billionaire Richard Branson congratulates the crew on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after their ascent.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Billionaire Richard Branson congratulates the crew on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after their ascent.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Billionaire Richard Branson congratulates the crew on board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity after their ascent.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its engine before commencing it ascent. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its engine before commencing it ascent. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its engine before commencing it ascent. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its untethered ascent to the edge of space. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its untethered ascent to the edge of space. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity starts its untethered ascent to the edge of space. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield pins astronaut wings onto the flight suit of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield pins astronaut wings onto the flight suit of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield pins astronaut wings onto the flight suit of billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield holds astronaut wings before awarding them to the crew, including Richard Branson, who flew in Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield holds astronaut wings before awarding them to the crew, including Richard Branson, who flew in Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield holds astronaut wings before awarding them to the crew, including Richard Branson, who flew in Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wears his astronaut's wings at a news conference, after flying with a crew in Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wears his astronaut's wings at a news conference, after flying with a crew in Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson wears his astronaut's wings at a news conference, after flying with a crew in Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity begins its ascent to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity begins its ascent to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity begins its ascent to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Richard Branson arrives by bicycle to board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Richard Branson arrives by bicycle to board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Richard Branson arrives by bicycle to board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Richard Branson arrives by bicycle to board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Richard Branson arrives by bicycle to board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Richard Branson arrives by bicycle to board Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses embraces Richard Branson and other crew as he arrives to board the company's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses embraces Richard Branson and other crew as he arrives to board the company's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS

Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses embraces Richard Branson and other crew as he arrives to board the company's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic/Handout via REUTERS
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet dubbed VMS Eve, takes off with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew for travel to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet dubbed VMS Eve, takes off with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew for travel to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet dubbed VMS Eve, takes off with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew for travel to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet dubbed VMS Eve, takes off with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew for travel to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet dubbed VMS Eve, takes off with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew for travel to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet dubbed VMS Eve, takes off with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and his crew for travel to the edge of space. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson departs with his crew prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson departs with his crew prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson departs with his crew prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson departs with his crew prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson departs with his crew prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson departs with his crew prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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Pilot Michael Masucci waves as he departs the crew and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Pilot Michael Masucci waves as he departs the crew and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Pilot Michael Masucci waves as he departs the crew and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson prior to boarding. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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