Virgin Galactic's founder, Richard Branson, had initially suggested that he hoped to see a maiden flight by the end of 2009, but this date has been delayed on a number of occasions, most recently by the October 2014 in-flight loss of SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise. Branson stated that Virgin Galactic was “in the best position in the world” to provide rocket-powered, point-to-point 3000 mph air travel on Earth. In October 2017, Branson suggested that he could travel to space aboard a SpaceShipTwo within six months. On 13 December 2018 VSS Unity reached an altitude of 82. 7 km (51. 4 miles), officially entering outer space by US standards.