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  • Geebo 10:29 am on February 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beth Mose, Dave Mackay, Michael Masucci, Richard Branson, , Virgin Galactic   

    Virgin Galactic launches 2nd manned commercial space flight 

    Virgin Galactic launches 2nd manned commercial space flight

    The VSS Unity

    The recent boom in the commercial space industry seems to have recaptured America’s interest in space travel again. Between Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin space program and Elon Musk’s SpaceX our fascination with leaving the planet has become rejuvenated. However, some people may not be aware of another commercial space program that some people may not be aware of and that’s Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. While Blue Origin and SpaceX are focused on developing rockets and space capsules that can be deployed and reused in order to drastically reduce the cost of space flight, Virgin Galactic is more focused on space tourism. That’s not to say that space tourism is nothing but folly.

    This past Friday, Virgin Galactic launched its second manned space flight aboard the VSS Unity. Virgin Galactic launched its first manned space flight back in July of 2018. The Unity was released from a cargo plane in flight before propelling into space under its own power. The crew consisted of chief pilot Dave Mackay, copilot Michael “Sooch” Masucci, and Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses who became the first commercial space flight passenger. Moses’ mission was to inspect the cabin interior along with evaluating the safety of weightlessness for future passengers. There were also a number of NASA related projects aboard the flight making the Unity’s voyage a profitable one.

    While it does take a certain amount of ego to try to enter the new space race, Virgin Galactic seems to be less about publicity and more about innovation. While Sir Richard does want to be a space passenger by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this July he seems to have largely eschewed the attention of mainstream media. Which is refreshing from those who would launch a car into space for no other reasons besides publicity and stroking their own ego.

  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Richard Branson, , Virgin Group,   

    Does Richard Branson still have the gift for business? 

    Does Richard Branson still have the gift for business?

    Virgin Group CEO Sir Richard Branson

    Sir Richard Branson is what’s known in today’s business world as a disrupter. That means he goes into business fields with new and innovative ideas that can be felt through the entire industry. However, Sir Richard has been doing this since 1968, long before the term disrupter was ever coined. That’s not to say that the self-made billionaire hasn’t had his share of stumbles in the business world. For every Virgin Records, Virgin Galactic, and Virgin Atlantic there’s been Virgin Cola, Virgin Cars and even Virgin Brides. More recently, Sir Richard has announced the inaugural plans for his vacation cruise line. Has he tapped into today’s cultural zeitgeist or will this venture be a flight of fancy?

    On Valentine’s Day of this year, Sir Richard announced that Virgin Voyages is now open for bookings and divulged how his cruise line will work. The aim of Virgin Voyages is said to be competing with such popular party hotspots as Ibiza, Spain or Saint-Tropez in France. With the way it’s been described in the media, Virgin Voyages almost seems like it’s going to be a Coachella or Burning Man on the high seas with stops in Havana and Virgin’s own private beach club in the Bahamas. While most cruise lines focus on families and older couples, Virgin Voyages will cater more to the ‘Millennial’ generation who supposedly enjoy experiences more than material goods.

    While that may sound good in theory the Millennial generation is also said to be woefully underpaid in today’s job market compared to previous generations and are burdened with record financial debt. While Sir Richard may be socially conscious when it comes to most of his ventures, social consciousness comes at a price that can only be passed on to the customer. While the experience on Virgin Voyages may be an amazing one, the experience may be priced out of range for most of his target demographic. If Virgin Voyages fails to catch on it won’t be the end of Virgin Group or anything like that but it could make investors less likely to engage in Branson’s future ventures if it does not succeed.

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