VIRGIN GALACTIC’S FIRST SPACE TOURISTS FINALLY SOAR, AN OLYMPIAN AND A MOTHER-DAUGHTER DUO

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Virgin Galactic rocketed to the edge of space with its first tourists Thursday, a former British Olympian who bought his ticket 18 years ago and a mother-daughter duo from the Caribbean.

The space plane glided back to a runway landing at Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert, after a brief flight that gave passengers a few minutes of weightlessness.

This first private customer flight had been delayed for years; its success means Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic can now start offering monthly rides, joining Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the space tourism business.