Branson: SpaceShipTwo Will Fly Passengers in 10-15 Months

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Will Whitehorn gives a pat on the back to Richard Branson as he greets Virgin Galactic ticketholders during the Oshkosh air show in July 2009.

Virgin Galactic’s Founder says that commercial suborbital flights will take place between May and October 2012:

Sir Richard Branson said that the reason he established Virgin Galactic was because he ‘got sick sick of waiting for NASA.’ He confirmed that space flights for the public will commence in ’10 to 15 months.’ Another endeavour after this milestone will be to launch ‘a 2 to 3 hour London to Australia flight’ via space.

The information was included in a press release announcing that Branson was awarded the The Power Of 3 EntreReinvention Award 2011 in London on July 4.  (In case your wondering, and I know you are, the award is the brainchild of Debbie Allen, Tracy Repchuk and Marie O’Riordan and is apparently not connected with the TV series Charmed.)

The prediction seems to be rather optimistic given that SpaceShipTwo has not made any powered flights yet, much less gone through the FAA’s licensing process. On the other hand, few people ever remember — much less hold Branson accountable for — any of his many previous optimistic commercial flight estimates, so there’s no real downside to his perpetually cheery predictions. And he’s got to be right at some point.

According to the press release, the award

“involved a detailed process of identifying the creme de la creme of the global business world. ‘We are truly delighted to have presented our inaugural Award to media magnet Sir Richard Branson for inspiring generations of Entrepreneurs. Now he’s doing it all over again being light years ahead with space tourism through the phenomenal Virgin Galactic project,’ according to Marie O’Riordan.

“The unique timing of the presentation of the Award on Independence Day in London coincides with The Power Of 3 World Tour of Europe in July as they take in England, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece & Turkey. Debbie Allen stated that, “Richard Branson is one of the most profound global entrepreneurs of our time. His massive success comes from his wisdom that came from experience, his gut feelings and his fearless approach to change.”

“Power of 3 International LLC is a leading edge corporation that has taken the entrepreneurial world by storm since Debbie, Tracy and Marie joined forces. The American, Canadian and Irish trio have been nominated for The Entrepreneur Leaders of the World Award 2011 in Monte Carlo. ‘Sir Richard has been one of the people I have watched for two simple reasons. One, if you’re a billionaire you are doing something right and secondly because he has a think out of the box, do whatever it takes, and go against the norm attitude that I love,’ said Tracy Repchuk, bestselling author of 31 Days to Millionaire Marketing Miracles.

“The Power Of 3 intend to fully follow the advice that Sir Richard Branson gave them and that is `if you’re going to do something, be the World’s best.’”

  • Silveradocyn

    8 months, and still no powered test flights…
    That makes the 10 Month target impossible, and the 15 month target unlikely.
    Who is Sir Richard Branson tired of waiting for now?