Richard Branson claims he'll take his first spaceflight 'in the middle of this year'

Mail Online | 1/25/2019 | Mark Prigg For
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Virgin Galactic boss Richard Branson says he hopes to travel to space 'in the middle of the year'.

The 69 year old says he is training hard for the mission, and told CBS This Morning 'my aim is to have the body of a 30 year old when I go to space.'

Firm - Plans - 'spaceport - New - Mexico

He also revealed the firm is finalizing plans to move to a 'spaceport' in New Mexico where its flights will operate.

'I hope to go up in the middle of this year myself, we have another test flight taking place in a few weeks, then another one, and another one, then we move to New Mexico where we have a beautiful spaceport,' he said.

Company - Test - Programme - Employees - Month

As the company prepares to transition from its test programme, it laid off around 40 employees earlier this month, it has been revealed.

Employees at both Virgin Galactic and partner The SpaceShip Company, which builds the vehicles that Virgin flies, were let go.

Number - Team - Order - Position - Organization

'Recently we separated a small number of our team in order to position our organization for the drive to commercial operations following our successful recent spaceflight, and make room for new skill sets that we need to bring in over the course of this year,' a spokesperson for Virgin Galactic said.

Ahead of the move, Virgin also announced a deal with Under Armour to develop space apparel and footwear for astronauts, engineers and fans.

Training - Program - Fitness - Nutrition - Advice

It will also create an astronaut training program that includes fitness and nutrition advice.

Last month Virgin Galactic reached the edge of space for the first time, in a milestone accomplishment for Richard Branson's space tourism endeavors.

Aerospace - Firm - SpaceShipTwo - Craft - Boundary

The aerospace firm's SpaceShipTwo craft reached a boundary more than 50 miles above Earth on Thursday morning for the first time, after blasting off on a critical flight test in the Mojave Desert.

To do this, the...
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