Billionaire Richard Branson is set to take off today from a base in New Mexico aboard a Virgin Galactic vessel bound for the edge of space, a voyage he hopes will lift the nascent space tourism industry off the ground.
“It’s a beautiful day to go to space,” the brash Brit writes in a tweet, posting a video of himself biking to the base and meeting with his crewmates, all Virgin employees.
Branson is also aiming to one-up Amazon founder Jeff Bezos by winning the race to be the first tycoon to cross the final frontier in a ship built by their own company.
Branson posts a picture of himself standing in a kitchen with SpaceX boss Elon Musk, who’d come to show his support.
“Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready,” he adds.