Billionaire Elon Musk, founder of space exploration company SpaceX, may go into space for the first time inside the spaceship of a friend and competitor.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Musk is one of the buyers of a ticket for tourist space travel from Virgin Galactic, the company of businessman Richard Branson. The ticket costs $250,000 — about R$1.3 million in direct currency conversion — and entitles you to a seat aboard the VSS Unity on a tour that has yet to take place.
Despite competitors in the field of space travel, Musk and Branson are friends. A photo of them together was published by the founder of Virgin Galactic on the morning of his own voyage aboard a spaceship. “Big day ahead. Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited and feeling ready,” posted the entrepreneur on his Twitter profile.
Although the businessman has not spoken so far, a Virgin Galactic spokesman has confirmed that Musk owns a space travel ticket from the company. Branson has even told a local newspaper earlier that he is a friend and that “maybe he will travel and one of his ships someday”.
According to the report, Virgin Galactic has already accumulated $80 million in advance sales of suborbital space travel. SpaceX, in turn, focuses on carrying cargo and crew on commercial missions for NASA and private contracts, but is currently testing the Starship spacecraft for long, tourist trips, initially to near the Moon.