Sir Richard Branson wants to develop planes so fast that passengers will be able to travel between New York and Tokyo in less than an hour.
And he says the technology could be available sooner than we think.
Speaking to CNBC, the entrepreneur said that once his Virgin Galactic space tourism project is underway he will turn his attentions to developing supersonic commercial flights that fly at 19,000 mph.
He said: ‘After we’ve done the space program, we will be producing supersonic planes, which will go far, far, faster than [the] Concorde.’
Travelling between New York and London in just three hours, Concorde was the fastest commercial flight in the world, but was retired by British Airways more than 10 years ago.
But Sir Richard wants to make it possible to travel even faster than Concorde within his lifetime, dedicating himself to the project once his space travel venture is on track.
He told CNBC: ‘If we get it right, New York to Tokyo could be less than an hour. You could be traveling at 19,000 miles per hour orbitally.’
His claims are reminiscent of his interview on children’s television back in the 1980s which he said inspired him to develop Virgin Galactic.
Questioned about whether he would like to go into space by a young caller on Going Live! in 1988, the interview prompted him to think about space tourism.
At the time, the Virgin boss answered: ‘At the time, the Virgin boss answered: ‘I’d love to go into space as I think that pretty much everyone watching this show would love to go into space.’
‘There could be nothing nicer. If you’re building a spacecraft I’d love to come with you on it.’
The entrepreneur credits the boy, named Shihan with inspiring him and even launched a worldwide search to find the boy behind the space question on Twitter.
The Virgin Galactic programme is reaching its final stages and 700 people – including businessmen, Hollywood stars and Branson’s own family – have signed up to become space tourists.