CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson is aiming to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos into space by nine days.

SYDNEY, NSW – DECEMBER 13: Sir Richard Branson poses for a photograph during Australia’s first private sign up to become an astronaut. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images)

Branson’s company announced Thursday evening that its next test flight will be July 11 and that its founder will be among the six people on board, all company employees. The winged rocket ship will soar from New Mexico – the first carrying a full crew.

READ MORE: Texas Officer Dies After Crash With 18-Wheeler While Responding To Emergency

Bezos, meanwhile, plans to blast into space from West Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He’ll be on the debut flight of a Blue Origin rocket with people, accompanied by his brother, a female aerospace pioneer Wally Funk from North Texas and the winner of a $28 million charity auction.

READ MORE: Padel Players Try Out For US National Team In Dallas

As late as Wednesday, Branson declined to say when he would rocket into space because of restrictions placed on him by his publicly traded company. But he stressed he was healthy and fit to fly as soon as his engineers give him the go. He’ll turn 71 a week after the scheduled launch.

MORE NEWS: Over 250 Guns Surrendered To DeSoto Police During Saturday Event

Virgin Galactic launches its rocket ship from an aircraft, reaching an altitude of roughly 55 miles . Blue Origin launches its New Shepard rocket from the ground, with its capsule soaring to about 66 miles. Both those heights are considered the edge of space. By comparison, SpaceX launches its capsules – both crew and cargo – into orbit around the world