Billionaires’ space race heats up with Richard Branson set to take off this weekend

Virgin Galactic’s first fully crewed space flight is scheduled to blast off Sunday, July 11.
6:34 | 07/09/21

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Transcript for Billionaires’ space race heats up with Richard Branson set to take off this weekend
Sir Richard Branson is ready to blast off convergence of the lack 61 crewed launch to the edge of the atmosphere. He's scheduled to be Amazon founder Jeff bases into space by a matter of days transportation correspondent GO many tests has the latest on the billionaire's. Space race. This morning just two days away from that historic launch to the edge of the atmosphere. Richard Branson's sets of beat. Amazon founder Jeff days those by just nine days in what's been dubbed the billionaire space tourist Branson speaking with GMA right after breaking that news. I know there is being painted as a race honestly I don't think either does the F I would not ready in direct competition it's. Launches will look very stiff the peso's blue origin launch looks more traditional or rocket launching upright with a space capsule above. But the Branson launched Sunday will start just like a typical planes liftoff the mother ship the VMS eve named after Branson's home. Will carry the unity spaceship underneath. Once they reach 45000 feet evening Tim robs the station within seconds the rocket ignites shooting them to the edge of space. While neither Branson nor baze those wall reach the Earth's orbit. They zoos will go a little farther 62 miles above the surface. Vs Branson's 55 mine so I'm just expecting the most extraordinary. Trip in my lifetime and five other virgin employees will join Branson for the company's first fully crewed flight. The world and even those off it will be watching ABC news speaking with astronauts aboard the International Space Station just days ago. Thought everybody says not a race I think. I think it's good I think you need some momentum needed and they're being competitive these kind of part part of the process. And it comes with a risk inch when he fourteen virgin galactic lost one of its pilots during one of the company's test flights. The spacecraft broke apart and crashed in the Mojave Desert. So you do not painful moments in that are sentenced yes some wonderful moments. I'm it has been seventeen years of hard work. So many people working on this and we will be right there on Sunday in New Mexico. To watch this launch now we should tell you celebrities like Katy Perry and Ashton Kutcher. They've already bought their seats on future flights the cost of each one Diane. 250000. Don't. A bargain 250. Grand you but he says thank you. I want to bring an astrophysicist. At Hud came Alou Shea eve for more on this news space race. I teams have first off thanks for her for being here we appreciate the analysis is of course we don't know anything about this stuff so we do here. The so people have criticized these billionaires go for focusing on exploring space saying that that time and money would be better spent solving problems. Here on earth what's your response to that. Well it's not. Days. You do not taking food from one hand to feed the all are right the nature of modern economies is that wealth is actually created in real time so we can do all of the above. Now virgin galactic met fit of getting the rocket into space looks very different. From a traditional blast off it almost takes off like a regular plane and then. This ship takes up from there isn't this whole thing work and what are some of the pros and cons of this approach. Well the patrols of course is that we have a dump our diversity of different approaches and that's always a good day because. Typically you start off with interrogation and did you learn what works best. It's all I love this approach to problem space accessibility if you think about it. Tickets were selling for twenty million dollars for access to space now their 250000. Still very high but that's all holds a factor of 100 different so who knows maybe in a future you'll. Drop down its 40045000. Most of us feel won't be able tool for that but still. Maybe we can put it only what it. Up pay in installments for your trip to Spain that I like it I like it. And at what we Branson saying that this isn't a competition between him in pesos but who doesn't love a good competition sellout. Let's talk about fast that aspect of it. Branson met nor bassist neither of them are actually gonna reach Earth's orbit but pesos is gonna go a little bit farther does any of this really. Count as going to space. The question because would you find space is beginning in a hundred kilometers above the earth or sixty some odd miles just over sixty miles an eagle one is reaching that. But it definitely count still be able to see the blackness of space the curvature of the earth our ability get a great view there's going to be a wonderful experience for them I would definitely be excited to more such a true. And now I as you mentioned we're gonna see this evolve not only will the prices hopefully come down in the future but I'm sure the technology. Is going to continue to be refined to so what can we realistically expect to see in our lifetimes when it comes to space tourism. You know this thing has yet to shake to shake out Beers all sorts of ideas in play. Almon and soul you don't I loved the concept. Of the space plane I think that's the most accessible one couple will see is that the play itself out is we're we're getting there slowly but surely it used to be that riding in a plane required you to be. You don't. Better all but well be but today it's could lose its state of the art sold I think space will eventually evolves to to being similar. But you don't ever want to have a helicopter or an airplane today so I don't think it's gonna be like call ours in the future but you know there will be more sensible. Bull and what are you watching for as this all involves not only space tourism its space exploration I mean they're only ending rockets now. Absolutely and what I was really exciting to me is all the players are given in ball from private commercial and even other nations agreement ball that weren't involved in the past and so you know we are becoming a species that's no longer trial all on the surface of the earth and that no space economy more ground. And all of the space exploration brings its own problems which creates new industries like clean up the jump from Spanish. I never thought that would be a new industry but I guess it will become a developing on the more and more we do miss. Absolutely yeah space junk is dangerous RIA yeah especially when we hear those stories about it starting to fall back into the atmosphere we don't want any of that. I've Philo lose saying we so appreciate your time today thank you. Make you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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