Richard Branson
Richard BransonReuters

Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, announced on Thursday that he will go to space on board Virgin Galactic in four to five months.

According to a report by AFP, Branson wants to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, which took place on July 20, 1960, during the Apollo 11 mission.

Branson made this announcement during the event organised to honour Virgin Galactic at the Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Small launches are the trend these days with Elon Musk's SpaceX promising a Japanese billionaire to take him to the moon by 2023 and another company, Blue Origin, aiming to take customers outer space by the end of the year.

The Virgin space trip will be a suborbital flight where the spacecraft will not go high enough to orbit the Earth. The trip will entail the spacecraft being in space for a few minutes and will come back to Earth.

Virgin Galactic had flown 80 kilometres above the Earth's surface to the 'edge of space' in December.

Branson said that with a few more tests in the next few months, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo will be ready to fly the British billionaire and then customers to space.

The SpaceShipTwo will carry six passengers along with two pilots.

In January, Branson had met with the US Air Force to discuss his company's aircraft builder Virgin Orbit, reports CNBC. The company is also currently testing LauncherOne rocket, which will be launched from a Boeing 747 named Cosmic Girl.

Branson is very optimistic about this venture and hopes that he will be able to go to space by July.

He had earlier announced a few space trips but unfortunately, it did not take place. "I need to wait for our team to say they're 100% happy. I don't want to push them," Branson was quoted as saying by AFP. However, he added that the company will be ready to take clients to space by the end of the year.

In addition to the small launch venture, Branson's Virgin Galactic has also partnered with clothing brand Under Armour to launch a line of apparel and shoes for astronauts.