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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin, and he is pumping in US$1 billion of his Amazon stock into the venture every year with the aim of launching a crewed mission next year. It performed powered test flights in April and May.

But Virgin boss Richard Branson has come out with some bullish words on Galactic's progress.

On Tuesday, Branson said that they will begin testing for space flights in a few weeks.

Unlike SpaceX and Blue Origin's spaceships that will require rockets to be launched, Branson's spacecraft will be released into space by a plane known as VSS Unity. "And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years", he said.

Tourists will spend several minutes floating in zero gravity, aboard a spaceship that approaches or passes through the Karman line, the boundary of Earth's atmosphere and space, some 62 miles (100 kilometers) high.

"I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts, and go into space is huge, and I think it's up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater to that demand", he said.

When asked about consumer demand for space travel, he told CNBC: "I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is very big".

Branson funds the training of space travel since 2004, and initially hoped that in 2018 he will go into space.

Currently, some 700 people are on Virgin Galactic's waiting list - to the tune of $250,000 a ticket - for the company's first commercial flights.

Virgin Galactic completed its first supersonic flight since the infamous crash, which killed one test pilot and severely injured another, earlier this year.

And now Branson has told CNBC news channel its first space flight could be imminent.

In statements following SpaceX's announcement to send a private passenger to the moon, Branson also pointed to the growing interest in and demand for commercial spaceflight, though he didn't specifically cite the SpaceX news.

The SpaceShipTwo spaceplane can carry six passengers and two pilots, with each ticket costing $US250,000 ($350,834).