Richard Branson has made quite the splash lately in world headlines—namely for the successful first solo flight of his SpaceShip Two, intended to be the world’s first commercial spaceship. With this newest venture, Branson intends to fly passengers to the edge of space and back. And after a successful sixteen-second flight over the Mojave Desert last week, that goal is well within sight.
Who will be the first to go? Branson and his family, of course. After that, the long slog through the waiting list will begin—a list that is rumored to include big names like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Though that may not be such a surprise when the cost of tickets is considered; they’re around $200,000 apiece.
Branson is the founder and chairman of the wildly successful Virgin Group, which began as a mail-order discount record service in 1970. It has since grown to include over 400 independent companies, making Branson a billionaire several times over. But he’s not one to hang on to that money by his teeth—he’s donated to many humanitarian and environmental causes over the years and this year took the Giving Pledge, which dictates that he give away the majority of his wealth during his life or upon his death.