Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Virgin to be in space 'within weeks'

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson speaks at a news conference on March 30 in Las Vegas Virgin Group founder Richard Branson speaks at a news conference on March 30 in Las Vegas
Elijah Vega | 10 October, 2018, 15:26

He said: "They believe in Elon Musk".

Space tourism has turned into a hot commodity in recent years.

Nonetheless, Sir Richard is undeterred and says there will be customer demand.

Japanese online retail tycoon Yusaku Maezawa has been unveiled as the first person to buy a ticket for Elon Musk's SpaceX mission to the moon.

'You know, it's important he's got to find time for himself, ' the 68-year-old said.

'I think that learning the art of delegation better would be his one flaw'.

'He's got to find time for himself, he's got to find time for his health and for his family.

He reached an agreement with U.S. regulators last month to step down as Tesla chair and pay a $20 million (£15 million) fine for what the Securities and Exchange Commission called "false and misleading" claims. Its main focus is on private touristic space travel from a spaceport in New Mexico, but it is also laying the bureaucratic groundwork to launch both research and private missions from Italy.

The announcement comes amid a closely fought race between Branson's Virgin Galactic and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to get the first fare-paying passengers into space.

Google exposed user data, feared repercussions of disclosing to public
Google's excuse is that it found no evidence of any of the data being misused, however, it also has no way of being sure of that. The WSJ reported that the exposure dates back to 2015, although the company didn't comment on how long information was exposed.

"We are more than tantalizingly close now, so we should be in space within weeks, not months", he told CNBC.

But while Sir Richard believes Musk is "doing fantastically well" in getting cargo into space - including his own auto - the real tussle is between the Virgin boss and Bezos.

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

The current asking price for a short trip to the lower edges of space costs around £200,000 to book through Virgin Galactic, although Branson says that once his fleet is fully running that could fall to around £40,000 within a decade or so.

"We should be in space within weeks, not months".

Branson said in May that Virgin Galactic and Bezos' Blue Origin were tied in the race for the first commercial spaceflight.

The reusable New Shepard rocket and spacecraft is meant to carry up to six space tourists, researchers and/or experiments on brief suborbital flights, the company has said.

But so far - despite many promises to launch - the company is still in the testing phase.

At the time Branson added that he hoped to become an astronaut within a year with Virgin Galactic.

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