VIDEO: Branson: The Sexiest Spaceship Ever
Virgin Galactic has yet to begin launching fee-paying tourists, but it hopes to begin doing so next year, when Branson and his family will take the first flight.
The suborbital joyrides, that cost $200,000 per seat, are out of the price range of the majority of "Beliebers," but that doesn't mean there hasn't been a demand. So far, over 600 people have placed deposits including celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DeCaprio.
The two-hour trip inside a SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, ferried by the WhiteKnightTwo mothership before being dropped at 46,000 ft at which point the spaceship's engines take over, will blast the six SpaceShipTwo passengers to just beyond the edge of space - an altitude of 62 miles, a height known as the Kármán line. After a few minutes of weightlessness, the vehicle will return to Earth like a conventional aircraft, landing at the New Mexico Space Port, where Virgin Galactic is currently the only tenant.
Image: SpaceShipTwo during its historic supersonic flight test over the Mojave Desert, Calif., in April. Credit: Virgin Galactic