Leap from space Virgin-style
- By Richard Branson -
- Oct 18, 2012
Like many of you around the world, we’re still marvelling at Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking jump from space this week. It really was an inspirational moment, and has certainly got the creative juices flowing here at Virgin.
Back in 2005 we were approached by someone who wanted to hire SpaceShipOne to jump from 400,000ft to beat Joe Kittinger's original record. The idea was that the spaceship pilot and the jumper would both be in spacesuits and the spaceship would fly up unpressurised. The pilot would have life support for the return descent and the parachutist would simply jump out at the top of the spaceship parabola.
Such a record is theoretically possible from an unpressurised spaceship with the remaining crew wearing life support. However, the timing wasn’t right as SpaceShipOne was being placed in the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum.
Nevertheless, the technology of space travel and exploration is moving forwards every day, and we look forward to taking on new challenges as we move closer towards commercial space flight. Who knows, the next record leap could one day be from Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
Haven’t had a challenge myself for a while. Could be fun for Virgin to give Red Bull a run for their money.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group