Richard Branson manipulates the press again


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Two stories today from Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic:

The quote from the first story is especially entertaining:

“I’m pretty convinced that by this summer a large, new spacecraft will go into space,” the Virgin Galactic owner said in an interview with Fusion.net, adding, “and then I think by September, myself and my family will go into space. I’m 90 percent convinced that will happen.”

This article, however, was written by a local New Mexico news source, which is understandably very skeptical of Branson considering that he has made this exact same promise now three years in a row. Not only has Branson and his family not flown in space as promised previously, almost no powered test flights of SpaceShipTwo have occurred as promised.

Eventually, you have got to produce. Branson’s failure to fulfill his previous promises makes this new promise sound very hollow. I think he would be far better served right now if he told us precisely what is going on and why there have been so few test flights. This is cutting edge technology. Everyone expects there to be problems, challenges, and delays. Filling us in on them will not embarrass Branson or Virgin Galactic, unless we find out he has been lying to us.

I should also note that Branson’s effort here to manipulate the press is apparently far less successful than past efforts. Previously, promises of an upcoming SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight would have gotten wide starry-eyed coverage from major news sources. Space geeks like I would have talked about it as well with great enthusiasm.

Now, however, the story is reported first by a non-space source, and subsequent reports, like the one above, are skeptical.

Time is running out on Virgin Galactic. They have got to start delivering.

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One comment

  • Pzatchok

    Branson is a carnival barker like old.

    I was thinking about his space system and a thought hit me about it.(which is rare)

    He must be planning on launching his rocket from any airport in the world.
    But really he can’t. Technically yes he can, but not so much in the real world.
    First he wants to launch from places close to the people that are buying his tickets.
    Well anyone buying would come from a pretty advanced nation. One with a modern air force. A modern air force needs liquid O2. So does his spacecraft at least for some breathing.
    His ship needs an oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide. Which needs a pretty modern nation to manufacture.
    It also needs a fuel. His fuel idea is I guess fine, if he plans of shipping it around the world on cargo ships.
    Why not use the very same or a very similar liquid fuel like the jet fuel every other modern aircraft uses? And use the very same O2 he plans to use for breathing for his oxidizer?

    Buy off of the local markets.

    Its not like he plans on launching from a dirt strip in inner Mongolia or from a jungle runway in South America.

    I don’t think he actually has much of a real plan other than a plan to spend other peoples money and gain press time for himself and his company name.
    Sort of like advertising.

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