Richard Branson sought a celebrity-studded event for his Virgin Galactic flight to space on Sunday and perhaps the biggest star among many was his friend Elon Musk, a fellow billionaire and space entrepreneur who recently turned 50 . SpaceX founder Musk flew into Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Saturday evening from Brownsville, Texas, near his company’s large Starship development complex. He was up early the following morning to wish Branson well. The other tech billionaire plotting his own space mission this summer – notably scheduled before Musk’s upcoming SpaceX bid – the recently retired Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, was noticeable in his absence. Billionaires in space: who’s winning out of Musk, Bezos and Branson? “It was so great to find Elon in my kitchen at 3 o’clock” in the morning, Branson said at a press conference after the flight, noting that at the time he had already slept but Musk is a night owl who hadn’t yet gone to bed. Virgin Galactic played no role in inviting Musk, who watched the flight from a VIP section of Spaceport America, said a spokesman for Virgin, Barney Gimbel. “This is all Richard’s inviting him. They’re buddies,” he said. Big day ahead. Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready. Watch #Unity22 launch and livestream TODAY at 7:30 am PT | 10:30 am ET | 3:30 pm BST. @virgingalactic @elonmusk https://t.co/1313b4RAKI pic.twitter.com/FRQqrQEbH8 — Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 11, 2021 Musk has bought a ticket for a future ride on Virgin Galactic, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, while adding that representatives for Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Tesla Inc. weren’t available or couldn’t be reached for comment. A Virgin Galactic spokeswoman declined to comment on any customers’ identities. The camaraderie served as a contrast to the third billionaire in a space trio, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, whose company had drawn a barbed contrast in recent days between the higher altitude of New Shepard’s rocket than Branson’s spaceship flies. X AE-XII to Moon Unit: 18 weirdest celebrity baby names Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.’s vehicle flies to about 55 miles (89km), while Blue Origin’s rocket and capsule tops 62 miles (100km). The latter altitude is the threshold of the so-called Karman line demarcating space, although the US government, including Nasa, considers space to be above 50 miles. Bezos struck a more conciliatory tone over the weekend with a message of congratulations for Branson and the Virgin Galactic crew. Bezos intends to fly to space aboard New Shepard on July 20, a date that Branson superseded with a surprise July 1 announcement that he would blast to space today, a week before his 71st birthday. Space flights to submarines: 7 billionaires with super-expensive hobbies “@richardbranson and crew, congratulations on the flight. Can’t wait to join the club!” Bezos wrote Sunday on his Instagram page. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .