Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson says ‘honestly, there isn’t’ any competition between him and Jeff Bezos on upcoming spaceflights

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.
Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson (left) and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. Virgin Galactic/REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
  • Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson denies feeling competition with Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos on space.
  • Branson said, “honestly, there isn’t” competition in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show.
  • Branson said last week he’ll attempt spaceflight as soon as Sunday, 9 days earlier than Bezos.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Richard Branson has denied feeling any sort of competition with Jeff Bezos to get to space first after announcing plans to beat the former Amazon CEO to space by nine days.

“I know nobody will believe me when I say it, but honestly there’s isn’t” any competition, the Virgin Galactic founder said in an interview Tuesday with NBC’s “Today” show. Branson added that the world benefits from having both aerospace companies, “Today” reported.

Branson had announced last week that he plans to fly to the edge of space as soon as Sunday. This timeline has him beating Blue Origin founder and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to space by nine days. Bezos will fly on his company’s New Shepard rocket on July 20.

Joining Branson on his spaceflight are three Virgin Galactic employees. Beth Moses is Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, Colin Bennett is the company’s lead operations engineer, and Sirisha Bandla is its vice president of government affairs and research operations.

Bezos’ Blue Origin flight will reportedly go higher into space than Branson’s flight, according to a statement from Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith to The New York Times. Bezos will fly just above the Kármán line and experience three minutes of weightlessness before concluding the 11-minute mission. Both flights will be sub-orbital.

Seven-hundred people have already signed up for Virgin Galactic spaceflights, including celebrities like Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber, “Today” reported.

Branson’s upcoming trip will be Virgin Galactic’s 22nd test flight for its VSS Unity spaceship, as well as the company’s first fully crewed flight test, according to a press release. It will be livestreamed on the day of the flight.

“I can’t wait,” Branson told “Today” of his spaceflight. “At that moment, we will have become astronauts. I will pinch myself and pinch myself again and again.”