Virgin Galactic is weeks away from reaching space, CEO Richard Branson says

To prepare for his maiden voyage, Branson said, he's been training rigorously: cycling, playing tennis and spending time in a centrifuge to acquaint his body with the gravitational forces of space.

Branson's pursuit of commercializing space travel began in 2004 when he founded Virgin Galactic.

Branson told the New Yorker earlier this year, but he says: "If you are an optimist and you talk ahead of yourself, then everybody around you has got to catch up and try to get there".

However, Sir Richard has not been deterred by Elon Musk's firm, and instead are using SpaceX as a pace setter in the private race to space.

"We should be in space within weeks, not months", the Virgin Group founder and CEO told CNBC this week.

Smiling Mind CEO Dr Addie Wooten said: "As little as a couple of minutes of meditation can improve our overall sense of calm and wellbeing during a flight". Since then, the company has already enlisted around 800 passengers who paid $250,000 Dollars each for a return ticket on the Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic, which is charging $250,000 (£190,000) for a spot on one of its commercial flights, has previously said it would send passengers to space in 2019.

With launch after robotic launch, SpaceX keeps threatening to overtake Virgin Galactic. "Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are formidable competitors, and there's definitely room for all three companies", he said. "Both of our crafts are pretty different, and obviously we think that people will prefer our offering". Virgin Active in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, partnered with Salary Finance to take a closer look at the impact of financial wellbeing on mental health.

Virgin Active operates five clubs in Singapore, with a sixth due to open in Paya Lebar soon. However, the market is restricted as there are too few rockets to launch satellites into orbit. "We want to build and consolidate first before we look at other countries".

"There are almost four and a half billion people who are not connected, so we're hoping that will go well", Branson said. "I love life, I love people, I love learning, and I love the variety of what I do", said the man who describes himself on his Twitter profile as a "tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist and troublemaker who believes in turning ideas into reality".

Vanessa Coleman