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Virgin Galactic successfully sends Richard Branson to the edge of space

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Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and a crew of Virgin Galactic employees nailed a clean touchdown in New Mexico on Sunday after launching to space aboard the company’s SpaceShipTwo spaceplane. The mission, dubbed Unity 22, marked the fourth test flight to space for the vehicle and the first for Branson, the 70-year-old daredevil entrepreneur who’s been waiting over a decade for his debut trek to the edge of space.

The SpaceShipTwo plane, dubbed VSS Unity, took off at 10:40AM ET attached to the belly of Virgin Galactic’s twin-fuselage WhiteKnight plane. Unity dropped from the center of the carrier craft at an altitude of around 45,000 feet roughly 50 minutes after takeoff. Moments later VSS Unity ignited its single rocket engine to…

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