Billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space flight constitutes a historic moment for space exploration and tourism, said Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation President George Danos.
Branson successfully reached the edge of space onboard his Virgin Galactic rocket plane.
The UK entrepreneur flew high above New Mexico in the US in the vehicle that his company has been developing for 17 years.
The trip was, he said, the “experience of a lifetime”.
He returned safely to Earth Sunday just over an hour after leaving the ground.
The trip also makes him the first of the new space tourism pioneers to try out their own vehicles, beating Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and SpaceX’s Elon Musk.
Danos, who worked for Branson, said it was the beginning of the privatization and commercialization of space.
He said space tourism could pave the way for important steps to protect planet Earth.
“As we embark on this new journey and get a view of our planet from above, without borders, with a fragile, thin atmosphere, it is not just a journey for exploration, entrepreneurship and tourism.
“It will also be a journey of introspection and appreciation of our planet and possibly the beginning of important steps to protect our planet,” Danos told CNA.
“It was a historic moment for space exploration and space tourism.
“We experienced the beginning of the commercialization of space.
“Just like when the air industry took the bold step of national airways giving way to the private airlines of today,” Danos said.
“The first person to fly into space with their own spacecraft has become a reality with Richard Branson, my former boss.
“It’s no longer necessary to become an astronaut to be selected by the national space agencies”.
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 11, 2021
In the late ’90s, Danos help Richard Branson with his hot-air balloon races around the globe.
“I never thought that he would become the first pioneer into space”.
“He built up Virgin Enterprises from the ground up.
“I met him in the ’90s and founded one of his companies that became the first one-stop-shop for bringing businesses onto the world of internet commerce – a pioneering move for the internet.
“And then he takes an even bolder step in creating Virgin Galactic, which made history.”
Danos said he was “super excited” to see his former boss become a space tourist.
“I am truly moved. The sky is no longer the limit.”
Branson tweeted after his successful flight: “I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars.
“Now I’m an adult in a spaceship looking down to our beautiful Earth.
“To the next generation of dreamers: if we can do this, just imagine what you can do”. (source CNA)