Virgin Galactic May Be In Space "Within Weeks" According to Richard Branson

Friday, 12 October 2018 - 9:57AM
Friday, 12 October 2018 - 9:57AM
Virgin Galactic May Be In Space "Within Weeks" According to Richard Branson
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Nick Dimbleby/Jaguar Land Rover 2016. Free for editorial and PR use. CC BY 2.0
Somewhere in the world, there is a big calendar on which someone has been closely tracking the space tourism race. With a very bold statement to CNBC this week, Richard Branson just gave that person an early Christmas gift. The Virgin Galactic founder declared that his company is much closer to reaching space than previously reported, and that it may be only a matter of weeks before they make history.

"We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years, and we will be in space with people not too long after that," Branson told Nancy Hungerford of CNBC during a sit-down interview in Singapore on Tuesday, adding that the next couple of months will be "very, very exciting." At this time last year, Virgin announced that it was four months away from launching a person into space. That obviously did not happen, and not everyone is convinced that Branson's latest claims hold much value. But at least the billionaire mogul has remained consistent with his own timeline; in May of this year while discussing the first Virgin Galactic flight aboard SpaceShip Two, he told BBC Radio 4, "we're talking about months away, not years away - so it's close."

SpaceX and Boeing have test flights marked on their own big calendars for 2019, and SpaceX recently revealed the identity of the passenger it plans to fly around the Moon in 2023. So far, there have not been any official updates posted to the Virgin Galactic website that confirm Branson's statements, but if nothing else he has succeeded in keeping the company's name in the conversation. If a flight does happen in the next couple of weeks, the world will be watching and some people may owe Virgin an apology.




Cover image: Nick Dimbleby/Jaguar Land Rover 2016. Free for editorial and PR use. CC BY 2.0
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