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Richard Branson

Richard Branson, right, founder of Virgin Galactic. Branson announced Thursday that he plans to fly into space this month on the next test flight of his Virgin Galactic rocket ship. The launch window will open July 11. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

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Richard Drew/AP

Virgin Galactic's space tourism rocket plane SpaceShipTwo returns after a test flight in California on Dec. 13, 2018. Billionaire Richard Branson is partnering with a group of investors to take his space tourism company public. Gene Blevins/Reuters hide caption

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Gene Blevins/Reuters

Observers watch Virgin Galactic's SpaceshipTwo take off for a suborbital test flight of the VSS Unity in Mojave, Calif. The company marked a major milestone Thursday as Unity made it to a peak height of more than 51 miles, meeting the Federal Aviation Administration's definition of spaceflight. Gene Blevins/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Gene Blevins/AFP/Getty Images