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Musk-Branson Bromance on Full Display for Virgin Galact...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Musk-Branson Bromance on Full Display for Virgin Galactic Flight

Sir Richard Branson speaks on stage with other crew members, after they flew into space aboard a Virgin Galactic vessel, a voyage he described as the "experience of a lifetime" -- and one he hopes will usher in an era of lucrative space tourism at Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images
By Bloomberg
12 Jul 2021 2

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.

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.”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.

Branson, Virgin Galactic Crew Pull Off Key Test Flight to Space

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.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc.’s vehicle flies to about 55 miles, while Blue Origin’s rocket and capsule tops 62 miles (100 kilometers). The latter altitude is the threshold of the so-called Karman line demarcating space, although the U.S. 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.

@richardbranson and crew, congratulations on the flight. Can’t wait to join the club!” Bezos wrote Sunday on his Instagram page.


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All Comments 2

  • Sick display of excessive wealth, in a world struggling with covid-19 (let’s not forget the GBP millions Richard Branson recently wheedled out of the UK government by pleading poverty of his airline), global warming related drought and famine, massive poverty, and a refugee crisis driven by the desire to accumulate excessive wealth.

  • I wish these rich idiots would pay as much attention to the plight on earth as they spend on space travel. Rich men’s toys for boys whilst the earth heats up, poverty and homelessness increases and humanity implodes….ridiculous humans!

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