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Richard Branson inspired by Apollo, his own space shot soon

Richard Branson is presented with a space-themed cake during a luncheon attended by 100 Virgin Galactic ticket holders, to mark his 69th birthday and in recognition of the Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (Associated Press)
Richard Branson is presented with a space-themed cake during a luncheon attended by 100 Virgin Galactic ticket holders, to mark his 69th birthday and in recognition of the Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Thursday, July 18, 2019, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (Associated Press)
Published Jul. 19, 2019

Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson says his spaceship has just a few more test flights before he jumps on board for the first tourist trip.

Branson celebrated his 69th birthday at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday during 50th anniversary celebrations for humanity's first moon landing. He was joined by 100 other aspiring astronauts who have put down deposits to launch into space with Virgin Galactic. Like Branson, many in the crowd were inspired to fly into space by what he called "the most audacious journey of all time."

Branson says three or four test flights will be conducted from New Mexico, beginning this fall, before engineers allow him to fly.

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