Hopeful astronauts can make donations via charity-driven contest website Omaze to Space for Humanity.
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</div><div id="articleAdd"> <div class="gate-check"> <time datetime="2021-07-12 13:50:07" itemprop="datePublished" content="2021-07-12T13:50:07Z"> July 12, 2021 </time> 3 min read <small class="grey-text text-darken-1"> </small> The great <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/376366" rel="follow noopener" target="_self">billionaire space race</a> finally came to a head on July 11 when <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/virgin-group" class="auto-tagged ga-click ent-tags" data-ga-category="autotag-linking" data-ga-label="ent-tags" data-ga-action="/topic/virgin-group">Virgin Group</a> founder <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/richard-branson" class="auto-tagged ga-click ent-tags" data-ga-category="autotag-linking" data-ga-label="ent-tags" data-ga-action="/topic/richard-branson">Richard Branson</a> became the first of many trying (looking at you, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk) to make it off the planet.
Unsurprisingly, investors noticed.
Virgin Galactic’s stock rose nearly 9% in premarket trading on Monday morning, and was up over 171% year to to date in the same time period.
But now, investors and consumers alike have their eye on the company after Branson’s latest announcement that he’ll be sending two space-going hopefuls into orbit in one of Virgin Galactic’s rocket ships.
Branson made the announcement on social media following his successful space test flight, declaring that one winner and a guest of their choice will have the opportunity to board one of the company’s first commercial flights, which is estimated for early 2022.
Space is for all humanity, which is why we’re giving YOU the chance to win 2 seats on one of the first @virgingalactic flights to space! ENTER NOW – all donations go to non-profit @spacehumanity: https://t.co/sjz1KV5f6z @omaze #Unity22 pic.twitter.com/pBzutUPJBl
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 12, 2021
“You and your guest will board a Virgin Galactic spaceship where you’ll take off smoothly, just like an airplane, and watch as the colors outside your window change from blue to indigo to midnight black,” the company said. “Hovering above Earth, nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking views of our bright planet and surrounding galaxy.”
In order to enter, hopefuls can make donations via charity-driven contest website Omaze to Space for Humanity.
Donation options range from $5 for 50 entries to $100, which is worth a solid 2,000 entires.
“Space for Humanity’s mission is to expand access to space, train our leaders of tomorrow and contribute to a culture of interconnectedness,” Branson said about the charity. “By sending citizens to space — as well as hosting conversations, events and launch parties — Space for Humanity will cultivate a global network of transformational leaders better equipped to create a sustainable future for us all.”
The contest closes on September 1, 2021, and the winners will be announced later that month. The lucky pair will also receive a personal VIP tour of Spaceport America alongside Branson himself.
The hype comes ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ long-anticipated space flight on July 15, an event that also featured a parallel, auction-driven contest to send a winner outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. The winning future astronaut purchased the seat for a cool $28 million.
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