Virgin Galactic will be in space 'within weeks,' says CEO Richard Branson

Pat Wise
October 11, 2018

'Don't feel you have to put out tweets about public shareholders, leave the public game to people who enjoy that, ' he said. "He obviously doesn't enjoy it, so (he should) clear the decks and concentrate on the creative side", Branson said.

Musk tweeted in August that he had "funding secured" to take electronic auto maker Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership at a value of $420 per share.

"And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater with that demand".

Sir Richard said that learning the art of delegation might address Musk's "one flaw" - his controversial tweets.

Virgin Galactic now has about 800 passengers on its roster, all of whom have paid around $250,000 (£190,000) for a return trip to space.

Virgin Galactic's disaster-struck space tourism programme is apparently nearing final launch readiness, with Branson telling USA news site CNBC that: "We should be in space within weeks, not months".

"It would be embarrassing if someone went back over the last thirteen years and wrote down all my quotes about when I thought we would be in space".

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Branson has previously said he thinks Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin would both "have a person in space roundabout the same time".

The new space race is well and truly underway, with Virgin Galactic founder and CEO Richard Branson saying the company will be in space "within weeks".

From one business visionary to another, Virgin Group's Richard Branson has given embattled Tesla founder Elon Musk some advice after his recent troubles.

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

Speaking to CNBC in Singapore on Tuesday, Branson was also bullish about the company's bid to kick off a new frontier of space tourism. He told CNBC that the company will be flying in space "within weeks".

Test pilots have been putting the SpaceShipTwo craft, VSS Unity, through its paces high above the Mojave desert in California. That would happen, he said, once the rocket safely reaches suborbit in repeated flight demonstrations.

The ultimate aim for Virgin and Sir Richard is to offer affordable, commercial travel away from Earth. Right now the price of a Virgin Galactic ticket is nearly $250,000-and it won't be dropping anytime soon.

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