TODAY

TODAY   |  November 08, 2013

TODAY to air Virgin Galactic’s first commercial flight

Sir Richard Branson, along with his son Sam, join TODAY to announce that NBC News will televise the inaugural commercial spaceflight of SpaceShipTwo. Sir Richard and his adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space on SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic’s terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> morning. sir richard branson founded virgin galactic in 2004 in the effort to become the world's first space company. they have big news to share. good morning. virgin galactic is going to blast off in 2014 ?

>> certainly is. we're delighted that we're going to be working with you lot and letting the world know about it.

>> nbc universal is going to help broadcast this trip.

>> it's going to be an exciting year. 8 years in the making but it's going to be a beautiful baby when it's finally finished.

>> we're very happy to be part of this project. talk to me about testing. you're doing testing all the time. there's milestones and benchmarks you have to hit. you tested the propulsion system , the feathering of the rear wings, what are the next tests on the horizon?

>> the last test we did broke the sound barrier so that was a great milestone and over the next couple of months we'll be getting up to two times the sound barrier . we're doing the very final rocket tests and then by -- you know, by early next year, we'll do our test flight right to the edge of space.

>> so richard, you and your two children will be the first passengers which i suppose is the greatest confidence of all that this thing is going to be ready to go and safe.

>> any rational person would be slightly nervous but i trust the team. they're an amazing group of people who are trying to make this a reality for lots of people around the world. it's exciting.

>> but it does raise the question when your dad came to you and said he was doing this did you say that's a great idea dad? or that's a great idea dad?

>> i have been brought up around his crazy adventures and other stuff so space is just the next frontier for his pushing himself and exploring the world.

>> okay.

>> he did extraordinary things as well. spent three months crossing the arctic and kite surfed across the english channel .

>> it's in the dna.

>> it's $250,000 to get a ticket which i hope includes the whole can of coke when the beverage cart comes around but you have people lined up. more than 600 people already bought a ticket?

>> yeah, 700 people signed up. they're enablers to do all of this. all sorts of people from leo leo decaprio to steven hawking . tremendous group of people and i think most people in this world would love the chance to go to space if they could afford it and we could guarantee them a return ticket .

>> just a reminder, we'll be broadcasting this flight when it occurs live. savannah and i will host that and nbc will be a part of the entire process. we're thrilled about that and we wish you the best of luck in future testing and keep moving forward.

>> we'll be seeing a lot of you two.

>> thank you very much.

>> coming up, exciting news for the couple that had an