Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is Finally Taking Earthlings to Space

After so much talk, and so much hype around Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture, the time has come for the billionaire to commit to sending civilians into space.

This morning, Branson and his son, Sam announced on Today that NBCUniversal will broadcast Virgin Galactic’s first commercial spaceflight live in 2014.

SpaceShipTwo will carry Branson, his wife and two children into space from the company’s terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico.  The most recent tests have broken the sound barrier, so by early next year the company will do a test flight “right to edge of space,” according to Branson.

Almost 700 individuals, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Stephen Hawking have purchased tickets to space, worth $250,000 each.

Each spaceship is built to carry six customers, and will allow an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with views of earth.