Virgin space plane takes off with first customers

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket plane has carried customers to the edge of space, in its first commercial flight.

The 70-minute mission was purchased for the Italian Air Force and the Italian National Research Council.

The Unity vehicle climbed 279,00ft (85km) over the New Mexico desert, before gliding back down to Earth.

The mission took off from Spaceport America at around 0830 local time (1430 GMT) and was livestreamed around the world.

Read more: Branson’s rocket plane enters commercial service

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