Richard’s Spaceship: The best thing about being a mega-rich entrepreneur? You have enough money to build spaceships. The best thing about Richard Branson? He IS building spaceships. Oh, and his British accent, of course.
In a recent blog post by Branson, he describes a recent visit to Virgin Galactic’s factory in the Mojave Desert, Calif., with daughter Holly. At the aptly named The Spaceship Company (TSC), Branson met with his 175 employees who are hard at work building the components for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. The company, that spun off the successes of Burt Rutan’s Ansari X PRIZE-winning Scaled Composites, uses carbon composite to fabricate the shell of the vehicles.
“Carbon composite was selected for our spaceships because it is 5x stronger than aluminum and many times lighter. This is taking us to space: Brilliant!” Branson exclaimed. In one photo of the visit, Branson can be seen “getting his hands dirty” by helping to lift half the shell of a SpaceShipTwo hull. Like any Branson-related media moment, his infectious enthusiasm shines through.
It is hoped that the first Virgin Galactic space tourism flights will proceed in 2013, but at $200,000 a ride, I’ll be waiting a little while for the tickets to dip to the $200 range. via Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog