Billionaire Sir Richard Branson is to be first among hundreds of people to travel 60 miles into space in the 2013 maiden voyage of the Virgin Galactic programme.

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson is to be first among hundreds of people to travel 60 miles into space in the 2013 maiden voyage of the Virgin Galactic programme.

 
529 people have already booked their holidays for late 2013, but they won't want to be “in the Sun” for this once in a lifetime trip, worth $200,000 per ticket. Only 528 people have been in space since the first mission of Yuri Gagarin in 1961, making this a ground-breaking achievement if successful.
 
The SpaceShipTwo, or SS2, spacecraft will be launched by the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft into space.  Six people can be flown at a time, making for plenty of flights, with 80 successful test launches to date.
 
 
Branson and his children, Holly and Sam, will be the first to boldly go where only a handful of people have gone before.
 
Celebrities and the rich are all lining up for the gravity-defying experience, with those confirmed on the list including Sarah Brightman, Bryan Singer, and Stephen Hawking. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are rumoured to be among the number, and Branson hopes to sell 700 tickets in total by the time of the first flight, a figure that should easily be achieved.
 
The budding astronauts will required a week of training before their flight. In addition to the incredible sights from space, they will also be able to experience the weightlessness of zero gravity.