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Sir has said he is feeling ‘good’ and ‘excited’ ahead of his record-breaking flight his Virgin Galactic which will see him soar more than 50 miles above the New desert to become the first billionaire to leave earth in a rocket ship today.

Branson, one of six Virgin Galactic Holding Inc employees strapping in for the ride, has touted the flight as a precursor to a new era of space tourism, with the company he founded poised to begin commercial operations next year.

Sharing a picture with fellow billionaire and space travel entrepreneur Elon Musk, on Twitter this morning, Mr Branson said: ‘Big day ahead.Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready.’

The British billionaire was pictured greeting guests and special visitors ahead of boarding the VSS Unity this afternoon to travel to the edge of space. 

The live feed has begun on Virgin Galactic’s social channels with comedian Stephen Colbert hosting the coverage. 

Branson will pose for photographs with the other five passengers before the journey which Branson told the  Sunday Times was his ‘Star Trek moment’ after being inspired by the franchise as a child, even deliberately designing their uniforms to resemble those worn in the series.

The 70-year-old will fly to the edge of space – nine days before ‘rival’ Jeff Bezos – on a craft built by his own company after declaring it is ‘time to turn my dream into reality’.

British billionaire Richard Branson waves as he arrives at a base in Las Cruces, New Mexico, ahead of the launch today

Pilots walk out from Spaceport America before travel to the cosmos with British billionaire Richard Branson on board

Richard Branson(L) receives some cards from children as he walks out from Spaceport America ahead of the launch today

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, right, is greeted by school children before heading to the edge of space

Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s vice president of government affairs and research operations, arrives at the facility today

Branson shared a picture this morning with Elon Musk and a tweet which read: ‘Big day ahead.Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready.’ 

He will be the second oldest person to travel to space after 77-year-old John Glenn in 1998.

The billionaire entrepreneur told the Times the view alone will be worth the billion pounds he has spent on the project and added: ‘I think it’s one of the reasons that people want to become astronauts.They want to look back at this beautiful Earth.

‘Every astronaut I’ve known has come back determined that the rest of their lives will be spent working harder to protect the planet that we live on.’

Branson, who has been pictured arriving at the facility by bike this morning, will travel on VSS Unity, which will launch from mothership VMS Eve on July 11, with a live stream of the event starting at 3.30pm (10:30 ET) from Spaceport America in New .

Sir Richard Branson (left) is set to become the first billionaire to leave earth in a rocket today as he will join the crew of Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity which will launch from mothership VMS Eve on July 11, with a live stream of the event starting at 2pm

Sir Richard Branson has revealed the uniforms were deliberately designed to reflect his love of the Star Trek series.He is pictured with fellow crew members Dave Mackay, Colin Bennett, Beth Moses, Sirisha Bandla and Book Private Jet Uk pilot Michael Masucci

Billionaire Branson, 70, and five fellow crew members will travel on VSS Unity (pictured), which will launch from mothership VMS Eve on July 11, with a live stream of the event starting at 2pm (09:00 ET) from Spaceport America in New Mexico

Richard Branson shared this picture with Elon Musk this morning saying he was ‘feeling good and excited’ ahead of launch

Virgin Galactic’s passenger rocket plane VSS Unity, borne by twin-fuselage carrier jet VMS Eve, is parked before launch

Launch preparations have been pushed back by 90 minutes due to weather overnight at Spaceport America which has delayed flight preparations earlier today. 

He will be joined by chief pilot David Mackay, a Scottish-born test pilot for the Royal Air Force who went on to fly for Branson’s Virgin Atlantic, and chief flight instructor Michael Masucci.

Also onboard will be chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, a former NASA engineer, lead operations engineer Colin Bennett and Sirisha Bandla, a company vice president.The six will grab a lift from mothership pilots C.J. Sturckow, a former NASA astronaut, and Kelly Latimer. 

A discount travel service it is not. But demand is apparently strong, with several hundred wealthy would-be citizen astronauts already having booked reservations, priced at around £180,000 per ticket. 

Always a fan of making an entrance, Sir Richard Branson was filmed arriving at the facility on his bike earlier today (pictured)

The crew are set to launch at 3.30pm after the preparations were delayed due to poor Boeing 777x weather in New Mexico overnight

Special guests chat as they wait for Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson’s launch to space aboard his own rocket ship

A photographer prepares his camera as the sun rises over Spaceport America before Virgin Galactic launch later today