- By Richard Branson -
- Jul 11, 2012
As my dad always said: "Isn't life wonderful?" Standing here at Farnborough International Airshow with our spaceship next to us, really illustrates that point. She has to be the most beautiful plane in the world, even if we do say so ourselves.
I'm so happy that after we decided to name the Virgin Galactic Mothership after my mum Eve, she is here with us in Farnborough for our big announcement today.
How amazing it feels to be showcasing a milestone Virgin Galactic event in the UK in such a historic year for the country. We would have loved to do a flyover here at Farnborough, but couldn't interrupt the crucial test program our team are undertaking in Mojave.
We dreamed of having SpaceShipOne do a flyover of the Olympic stadium - especially as BA are one of the sponsors! Sadly that couldn't happen either!
The last seven years have been full of some tough moments and incredible moments. Of all the many, many companies we have started at Virgin over the years, there is really nothing like Galactic. As an entrepreneur with a love of adventure, it keeps my mind buzzing, and I'm always pushing the team to come up with new ideas.
528 people have been into space since Yuri Gagarin's historic first mission. We are delighted to announce Virgin Galactic now have 529 future astronauts signed up to join us in space!
SpaceshipTwo will be taking up citizens from more than 50 countries to space. After seeing the beauty of our planet from space, I hope they will all come back as citizens of earth.
We can also announce the next step of the Galactic journey: revolutionary new satellite launch vehicle LauncherOne. The pieces are all in place to transform the business of satellite launch, which will open up space to everyone.
This new vehicle will change the whole satellite industry and space-based science research. Even before this official launch we have the largest order book of any new launch vehicle ever. The cost of putting a satellite into space before Virgin Galactic was around $30-40 million. We'll be able to do it for under $10 million, opening up space to thousands of new groups, universities and research programs.
LauncherOne will go around the world at 18,000mph in 80 minutes. It's actually 90 minutes, but I thought around the world in 80 minutes sounded better!
At Virgin Galactic we are taking the initiative and making it happen - because space is Virgin territory.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group