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Space Fantasy #70: Richard Branson Says He'll Fly To Space By July


British billionaire Richard Branson plans to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his own Virgin Galactic spaceship, he told AFP Thursday.

"My wish is to go up on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, that's what we're working on," the head of the Virgin group said on the sidelines of an event to honor Virgin Galactic at the Air and Space Museum in Washington.

The American Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon July 20, 1969.

Virgin Galactic is one of two companies, along with Blue Origin, on its way to sending passengers into space -- though just barely, and just for a few minutes.

The companies want to send hundreds or thousands of people on these short "suborbital" flights, meaning they wouldn't get high enough to orbit the earth.

These missions would be shorter and more affordable than SpaceX's planned project to send a Japanese billionaire to the moon by 2023 at the earliest. Source

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All 9 aboard medical evac plane killed in Philippines crash All nine people on board a small medical evacuation plane were killed Sunday when the aircraft crashed into a resort area south of the Philippine capital and exploded in flames, officials said. The light plane crashed into a resort compound in Pansol village in Laguna province near the foothills of Mount Makiling. Police and rescuers retrieved nine bodies from the wreckage, police said. Two people on the ground were injured and brought to a hospital. Eric Apolonio, a spokesman of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said the light plane was on a medical evacuation flight from southern Dipolog city in Zamboanga del Norte province and disappeared from radar for unknown reasons as it flew over Laguna, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the capital. The plane was supposed to land in Manila. Source