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article imageRichard Branson announces new space venture

By Tim Sandle     Mar 2, 2017 in Technology
Richard Banson's claims about Virgin Galatic and space missions seem as far away as ever. This hasn't stopped the British billionaire from launching a new project.
While the Virgin Galatic protect beavers in the background, seemingly losing ground (or should that be space?) to the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (Space X), this hasn't prevented Sir Richard Branson from going public about a new space project. This time, instead of sending people up to the outer edges of the atmosphere to experience weightlessness, Branson is to getting involved with satellite launches.
Branson's Virgin Galactic is competitor to Space X, and one that's been in development for far longer (starting off in 1999). It is a spaceflight company within the Virgin Group. Virgin Galatic is developing commercial spacecraft and aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists. The date of the first flight with tourists has been pushed back several times.
In order to satisfy his orbital passion, Branson has been focusing on a project designed to launch small satellites into orbit. For this, The Washington Post has reported, a new company has been formed called Virgin Orbit. This California-based organization is aiming to enter the satellite market.
Explaining more about the venture Branson has said in a statement that his new company is all about opening up the cosmos “by manufacturing vehicles of the future, enabling the small satellite revolution, and preparing commercial space flight for many more humans to reach space and see our home planet.”
While satellites are a lucrative area not every commentator is impressed. Gizmodo, for instance, has labelled the enterprise a "The Reverse Musk" (a reference to the man behind Space X, former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk). What this means, the technology website explains: "How do you pull off a Reverse Musk? You start with the really hard stuff and then give up and try the more humble projects you should’ve been working on two decades ago." Let's hope this project has a more immediate launch than Virgin Galactic's much mooted future space missions.
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