Virgin Galactic to be in space 'in weeks,' owner Branson says

Virgin Galactic to be in space 'in weeks,' owner Branson says

The British billionaire said Musk's late-night tweets - which have landed him in hot water a number of times this year - are a key "flaw" he must overcome.

Virgin Galactic has already completed several successful trial flights this year.

"He's got to find time for himself".

'And you know he's a wonderfully creative person.

Asked in the interview whether he was confident enough people would pay for tickets, he told CNBC: "If I have a room full of 10 people, eight out of 10 would love to go to space if they could afford it".

'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.

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

But delays and a fatal crash in 2014 prevented Sir Richard's original ambitions.

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

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We want to encourage more passengers to use their time flying with Virgin Australia to exercise their mind through meditations in the Inflight Entertainment System, and what better way to make this known than by holding the world's first dedicated meditation flight.

"Soon after that we will send into space people, so we will have a very interesting few months ahead".

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.

After that, it will be closer to its goal of offering commercial spaceflight to the 600 patrons who have paid $250,000 for a ride.

The program follows a move either this year by Townsville Airport, in far north Queensland, to provide emotional support dogs for nervous travellers.

The next step for the aspiring space tourism firm is get its newly revamped SpaceShipTwo spaceplane to burn its rockets for a prolonged period, allowing the craft to travel faster than before and reach a peak altitude of about 110km.

A Virgin Galactic spacecraft can accommodate two astronauts who will pilot it, along with six paying passengers.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin, and he is pumping in US$1 billion of his Amazon stock into the venture every year with the aim of launching a crewed mission next year. It performed powered test flights in April and May.

Departing Sydney at 9am VA9002 took to the sky with 65 special guest on board including Sir Richard Branson, media, VIP's and team members from Virgin Australia and Smiling Mind.

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