Richard Branson's expected rocket-powered trip to the edge of space today will mark a return to the daredevil exploits that first established the billionaire's swashbuckling reputation.

For decades, Branson engaged in a series of record-breaking stunts in which he kite-surfed for 48km between England and France, crossed the Atlantic Ocean by speedboat in just three days and then spanned the Pacific in a hot-air balloon at speeds of as much as 394km/h...

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