Richard Branson said he has been dreaming of going into space since he was a little boy, and now as a senior citizen, he was able to do it.
He hopped a ride on a test flight for Virgin Galactic and went on a a ride 53 miles above the earth’s surface with three other employees and got to experience weightlessness at zero gravity for roughly four and a half minutes, sending some cool photos to social media in the process.
The day started with Branson sending out a photo of himself on Twitter with Elon Musk, who was on hand to lend moral support for his friend.
Branson has said his mission was to “make space more accessible to all.” The success of his flight today led to Branson saying after the landing “welcome to the dawn of a new space age.”
The space plane Branson and the other flew on traveled about three times the speed of sound, roughly 2,300 miles per hour.
Branson started the company back in 2004 with the goal of opening up space for tourists, and he believes this was a huge moment that will allow it to happen very soon.
“It was just magical. It’s 17 years of painstaking work, the occasional horrible down – and large ups with it. And today was definitely the biggest up.”
Branson turns 71 this week. He plans on celebrating it on earth.