Billionaires In Space: Branson Succeeds In Space Launch

Sir Richard Branson successfully launched himself into space on Sunday, stepping aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket powered plane and rocketing to 53 miles above the earth, on the Unity 22 mission. The launch--the first of a billionaire into space on his own vehicle--also signals the upcoming start of paying, space tourists for Virgin Galactic, which has been developing its technology in Mojave, California, since 2004. Virgin Galactic's space plane is based on an experimental air-launched rocket, SpaceShipOne, which launched into space in 2004. Branson said he expects Virgin Galactic to begin selling seats to space starting sometime next year. The plane delivered a total of six people to space, including two pilots, Branson, and three other Virgin Galactic employees.