On a hot summer night in Beijing, Lionel Messi scored against Australia just 90 seconds into the game, sending tens of thousands of Chinese fans into raptures.

Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism company Virgin Galactic says it will launch its first commercial flight before the end of this month.

The firm is targeting a launch window for the flight, which is called Galactic 01, from 27 June to 30 June.

After the announcement to investors, Virgin Galactic shares jumped more than 40% in extended New York trading.

In May, Virgin Orbit – a separate space firm owned by the UK billionaire – shut down, months after a mission failed.

Virgin Galactic said the first flight will be a scientific research mission, carrying three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy to conduct microgravity research.