Branson says Virgin Galactic to launch space flight 'within weeks'

October 9, 2018
The billionaire entrepreneur said his Virgin Galactic was 'more than tantalisingly close' to launching its first mission to space

British entrepreneur Richard Branson said he expects his Virgin Galactic company to conduct its first space flight "within weeks, not months" in comments broadcast Tuesday.

Speaking to CNBC in Singapore, the billionaire Virgin founder said the company was "more than tantalisingly close" to launching its first mission to space, and that he himself hoped to briefly leave Earth within "months not years."

"We will be in space with people not too long after that," he added.

Branson's Virgin Galactic is racing against Amazon creator Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to launch the first out-of-this-world passenger flight and take paying passengers into space.

Both companies will offer customers a weightless experience that will last just minutes, passing through the imaginary line marking where space begins—either the Karman line, at 100 kilometres (62 miles), or the 50-mile boundary recognised by the US Air Force.

At this altitude, the sky looks dark and the curvature of the Earth can be seen clearly.

The first space tourists, who visited the International Space Station (ISS) in the 2000s, paid tens of millions of dollars for the privilege.

Branson said the proposed $250,000 price tag of a Virgin Galactic ticket would allow those who dreamed of visiting space to lift off in larger numbers.

"If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it," he said.

"Ultimately," Branson said he hoped the price of a would come down to around $40,000 or $50,000 over the next decade."

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3.9 / 5 (8) Oct 09, 2018
It's only a matter of time until the flat Earth folks adopt a narrative explaining how the normal civilians going up into space and seeing Earth's curvature have been co-opted by the greatest conspiracy known to man.
3.5 / 5 (2) Oct 09, 2018
Not exactly a 'space exploration' story, but still a sign that new technologies and approaches are expanding possibilities.
3.3 / 5 (3) Oct 09, 2018
It's only a matter of time until the flat Earth folks adopt a narrative explaining how the normal civilians going up into space and seeing Earth's curvature have been co-opted by the greatest conspiracy known to man.

I don't believe there are actually any "flat Earthers". I think it's a hoax to give journalists something to write about because absolutely no one could be so stupid these days.
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 10, 2018
GaryB, don't be so sure. It is amazing, the level of ignorance, to be found, in the face of overwhelming facts. Just look at the global warming issue. Not everyone can see the curvature of the Earth, from where they stand and many are led to believe the space view "proofs" are a hoax but the changes to the climate are in every ones face and are still denied. Many, also, believe any flying object they cannot identify must be from another planet, even though it is nothing more than a result of cataracts or a bug on their glasses. Human idiocy is without limit or measure and education or the lack thereof has no bearing whatsoever.
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 11, 2018
The Edge of Space, the difficulties increase with each passing day

We can reach the moon and go walkabout, do the yo-yo dance to the space station, the blackbird see's the curvature on each flight at the edge of space.
We could see the curvature of the earth in the Concord and now Branson cannot see the curve at the edge of space and now we only could reach the moon 50 years ago.

For Branson to realise his seconds of dream, he has to get serious climbing those 60,000 feet.
As though those miserly 12 miles were an impassable obstacle!
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 11, 2018
12 mile barrier to the ultimate dream at 50 miles

A weightless experience lasting minutes, passing the imaginary line marking where space begins where sky looks dark and curvature of Earth can be clearly seen .
When that 50 mile high exclusivity of club is unobtainable, it is an impossible dream as the edge of space and its curvature can be clearly seen at the 12 mile high club, but still an exclusivity of club only the privileged few have experienced its barrier.

So to Richard Branson, when that impossible dream is unreachable, it is the experience of the edge of space we yearn for, so please Richard Branson, spend our money so we can reach our exclusive 12 mile high club dream before the grim reaper bereft our souls for immortality, as it is this world we wish to see the edge of space, not in the next.
not rated yet Oct 11, 2018
The "pleasure cruise" of the future, for those with money to burn. What a waste.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (2) Oct 12, 2018
"pleasure cruise" of the future

The jackass, antigoracle...aka..Oil Industry Boot Licker, brays again.
This is the jackass whose argument from his rectum is if you use oil, you are a hypocrite for complaining about global warming. This totally ignores the fact that many of us don't have good alternative to oil because the oil industry is doing everything they can to prevent alternatives to oil from being created and used. The oil industry makes tens of billions of dollars a year in profit, buys a bunch of corrupt Republican politicians to do their bidding, and jackass dipshit antigoracle wants you to walk to work, never travel and suffer. Did I get it right my Chicken Shit Jackass atrophied Republican troll brain?

So WTF has antigoracle ever done to combat global warming? He's too busy being a Oil Industry Boot Licker.

(Folks, apologies for the language, but it helps to communicate with antigoracle in a way he can understand. Try it.)

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