Correction appended

Soaring 50 miles above Earth’s surface was an exhilarating moment for Richard Branson, who became the first billionaire launched to the edge of space and finally could see his decadeslong pursuit of suborbital flights within his grasp.

A crowd of 500 people gathered at Spaceport America in July to watch the historic flight, among them Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and former Gov. Bill Richardson, who had made a handshake agreement with Branson 15 years before to create this New Mexico hub for space tourism.

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