July 2, 2022

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Richard Branson hopes to fly with Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson prepares to spray champagne after flying with a crew in Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity rocket aircraft to the sting of house at Spaceport America close to Fact or Penalties, New Mexico, United States, July 11, 2021.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sir Richard Branson, lower than a 12 months after reaching house with Virgin Galactic, hopes to swap flights with Elon Musk and fly with SpaceX.

“Hopefully I can get on one among his spaceships someday, and he can get on one among ours,” Branson advised CNBC on Tuesday.

Branson achieved his dream of reaching house in July 2021, almost 20 years after founding Virgin Galactic. The Federal Aviation Administration honored Virgin Galactic’s first Unity 22 flight crew astronauts — Branson, Sirisha Bandla and Colin Bennett — with wings on Tuesday, recognizing them for clearing the 80-kilometer (50-mile) altitude bar. ) that america acknowledges because the restrict to house.

Branson famous that he and Musk are “good buddies” and that his fellow billionaire purchased a Virgin Galactic ticket “a very long time in the past.” SpaceX started flying astronauts into orbit in 2020 and has launched 18 folks into house up to now.

Branson’s function in Virgin Galactic’s future

Virgin Galactic shares are down almost 33% to date this 12 months.

Virgin Galactic is within the midst of a prolonged refurbishment course of for its VSS Unity spacecraft and VMS Eve service plane. The corporate withdrew in October from the top of its check flight marketing campaign and postponed its business house tourism service to the fourth quarter of this 12 months. In February, the corporate mentioned the renovation remained on schedule and ought to be accomplished within the third quarter.

In the meantime, Virgin Galactic has modified its construction and model below CEO Michael Colglazier, who was appointed in July 2020. Earlier this 12 months, former chairman Chamath Palihapitiya resigned from Virgin Galactic’s board. , and the corporate revealed a rebranding of its emblem, changing Branson’s iris with a purple define of its spaceship.

Moreover, Branson has decreased his possession of Virgin Galactic in 4 bulk inventory gross sales because the firm went public, though he stays the biggest single shareholder by way of The Virgin Group.

Branson mentioned he was executed with “the heavy lifting form of my job” for Virgin Galactic. However he additionally promised that he “will all the time be concerned” within the enterprise.

“I had lunch with Michael [Colglazier] right now, and we had an extended record of issues I’m planning on doing…so it doesn’t appear to be I’m slipping away from right here,” Branson mentioned. “I’m undoubtedly going to assist out the place I can.”