Virgin Galactic is just “weeks” from space trip

Sir Richard Branson has told CNBC that the Virgin Galactic is “weeks” away from a trip into space.

The Virgin founder (LON: VM) and CEO said on Tuesday that he has invested in space travel since 2004 and hopes to be part of the voyage that will take place in the next few months. 

“We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years,” he said.

“We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead,” he added.

The current fare price is an estimated $250,000, something which Branson does not think will affect consumer demand.

“If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it.”

“So I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is gigantic. And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater with that demand.”

Branson added that he would like to see the price fall to around $40,000 or $50,000 over the next decade.

Branson is currently in a race with Tesla’s (LON: VM) Elon Musk and Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Jeff Bezos to send the first passengers into space.

Yusaku Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire who will be part of Musk’s first space mission.

Maezawa said on Tuesday that he “trusts” Musk, despite the various issues that have cropped up. 

Bezos has said his space travel firm Blue Origin has planned a space mission for 2019 but has not clarified if it will be for crew or fare-paying passengers.