Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space flight: How to watch, start time, livestream

The VSS Unity during the Unity 21 mission to the edge of space.

Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson, the 70-year-old billionaire CEO of space tourism company Virgin Galactic, is no stranger to making headlines — he once drove a tank down Fifth Avenue to promote a new brand of cola. And he’s ready to do it again with his latest venture certain to top all those that came before it. On Sunday, Branson is set to board Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity and launch from the Mojave Desert into the stratosphere (and a little beyond). 

Here’s how you can tune in and watch it unfold — it’s all very simple.

It’s been a long road for Virgin Galactic. Seventeen years since the dream of taking people to space first came together, Branson’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle is ready to take its owner to space. The mission, dubbed Unity 22, will be available right here via the CNET Highlights YouTube channel. Coverage will begin at 6 a.m. PT (9 a.m. ET) on Sunday, July 11.

The flight will take around 90 minutes, with the twin fuselage WhiteKnightTwo plane carrying Branson’s space ferry into the clouds. From there, VSS Unity’s rocket engine will ignite, seeing it soar to a total height of around 90 kilometers where the crew will experience weightlessness in microgravity. It’s set to be a historic moment, particularly for the ambitions of the ultra-rich to reach the edge of space.

CNET Science writer Eric Mack will be on the ground at Virgin’s Spaceport America during the lead up to the mission. We’ll have coverage of Branson’s ascent to space, and you can also get updates and some behind-the-scenes details by following Eric on Twitter and Instagram @EricCMack. And Branson isn’t the only billionaire heading to space this month. Ex-Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos will be riding the first crewed Blue Origin rocket to space on July 20.

Check back with CNET on Sunday or sign up the Science newsletter below to get all the space billionaire content you need.