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Virgin Galactic is one of a small handful of companies that intend to give paying customers a chance to make brief flights into space. Among the other companies are Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin company, which has completed several tests of its New Shepard rocket and capsule system.
Virgin Galactic has been mum about exactly when it might begin taking customers into space. But earlier this month, Branson told the BBC that "we're talking about months away, not years away."
Once in commercial service, Virgin Galactic’s spaceships are designed to be turned around and flown at a higher frequency than has traditionally been the case for human spaceflight.