Virgin Galactic Made Pre-emptive Strike Against London Sunday Times Story

Credit: Ken Brown
WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo in flight. (Credit: Ken Brown)

Parabolic Arc has obtained the following email from Virgin Galactic Commercial Director Stephen Attenborough to the company’s ticket holders concerning the London Sunday Times story that I co-authored with Jon Ungoed-Thomas about cracks in WhiteKnightTwo’s wings. It’s worth a read.

From: Future Astronauts
Date: May 10, 2014
Subject: Virgin Galactic Update

Dear all,

We wanted to give you a quick heads-up that we believe the UK Sunday Times may run a negative story on Virgin Galactic tomorrow.

We don’t know all the angles but from what we can tell, the story appears to be predicated on false or deliberately misleading and exaggerated rumours from “off the record”, nameless contributors. Although that means we cannot be sure of the sources of the mischief, we suspect they are linked in some way to the author Tom Bower, who has made a living by trying to discredit famous personalities, including Richard. The Sunday Times has previous form in knocking Richard and various Virgin companies, including Virgin Galactic and has had a commercial relationship with Bower. So, despite the fact that we have vigorously rebuffed the points, we do expect the story to run and for it to maintain a negative stance.

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