Virgin Galactic’s Attenborough Promises Greater Safety on SpaceShipTwo

SpaceShipTwo glides to a landing at Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough was in Australia where he made a presentation in which he promised a greater level of safety for the company’s shrunken base of customers.

“We are a better and safer company as a result of that incident. One of the outcomes of testing is failure. We live in a risk averse world and it can come as a shock when something like that happens,’’ Mr Attenborough told the State Library audience, which included ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott.

“We have (since) looked at every element of the vehicle and every element of the operation.’’

Virgin Galactic is locked in a race with the likes of private firms Blue Origin and billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk’s Space X to be the first private company to successfully send commercial passengers into space….

Already 650 people have bought tickets to fly, including celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. But if you bought a ticket today, you would get to the front of the queue by around 2021, according to Mr Attenborough.

Virgin Galactic officials had previously stated the number of ticket holders to be around 700. The company had cancellations after the first SpaceShipTwo was destroyed in a test flight on Halloween 2014.


  • ThomasLMatula

    So now the number has declined to 650 ticket holders?

  • JamesG

    Yeah, they lost a few when they lost the first vehicle. I guess they didn’t read the fine print about the significant probability of injury or death inherent with spaceflight.

    Do you think Jolie and Pitt will take separate flights now when they get a chance?

  • duheagle

    Greater safety would be good because less safety would be – unfortunate.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    That safety came at a terrible price: the loss of lives.

  • patb2009

    that and a certain number of ticket holders have gotten older or had changes in life.

  • JamesG

    That’s usually the way it works.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    All safety comes at that price. Look at the body count racked up by commercial aviation to get to modern safety.

  • Cliff Shadow

    If the head Marketing guy has to tell people that they’re “safer”, then they are really not safe at all.