Saudi Arabia Gave Richard Branson $1 Billion to Go to Space

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Last week, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it would invest $1 billion in Richard Branson’s space companies, including Virgin Galactic. Earlier this year, Branson said he hoped commercial space flights aboard Virgin Galacticwould begin by the end of 2017. The investment will “accelerate our programme for trans-continental point-to-point space travel,” according to the company.

The Saudi crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said in a statement that the investment was to “enhance the role of innovative technology within the Kingdom’s blueprint for a modern, diversified economy.”

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In return, Branson will contemplate building “one or two” hotels in Saudi Arabia’s upcoming urban projects. A statement from Virgin also mentioned “the possibility to develop a space-centric entertainment industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Source Credit: Travel + Leisure
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