back to article Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space

Signs of life were detected back on Earth last week as space launch industry looked to resume operations. Virgin Galactic sends SpaceShipTwo into the New Mexico sky VSS Unity took its inaugural solo flight in New Mexico last week as Spaceport America crawled closer to the first commercial jaunts from its runway. The rocket- …

  1. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Space (depending on which definition you're using)

    I'm waiting for the Ryanair flight to Space (Everest) in the expectation I'll have to pay extra for the elevator transfer. Not sure how the scratch cards will work in zero gravity - probably a bit messy.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Space (depending on which definition you're using)

      Thank dog that was a April 1st threat.

      Can you imagine shuttle loads of drunken chavs in space?

      Ooh! Wait a minute; I have an idea for a new reality show Chavs in Spaaaaace!

      Suggestions for the host on a post card please.

      As for Beardy I could blast him into space by tomorrow afternoon, though I can't guarantee which space or even if he would all go in the same direction.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Space (depending on which definition you're using)

        I have an idea for a new reality show Chavs in Spaaaaace!

        Stop it right now! You'll be giving Jeremy Kyle ideas, and the longer we keep that fuckwit out of the public gaze the better...

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Space (depending on which definition you're using)

          Jeremy could go with them to present the show, I still haven't really thought it through so the return part is yet to be decided on.

      2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: Space (depending on which definition you're using)

        Thank dog that was a April 1st threat.

        Woofly.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Priorities?

    Really feels like Beardy Branson has his priorities wrong at the moment. Airline industry is decimated but he’s pressing ahead with this pointless nonsense. State aid for Virgin Atlantic? No, no chance should that be allowed.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Priorities?

      Help, I need cash for my (49% US Delta airlines owned) airline company from the British Company. However my pet project for the Ultra rich is still OK.

    2. dvhamme

      Re: Priorities?

      I don't consider myself a tree hugger but maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the world came to think of air travel as an expensive luxury again rather than a convenient way to quickly arrive at some ridiculously faraway place you perhaps didn't REALLY have to go to in the first place. At least Virgin Galactic is unapologetically elitist.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Priorities?

        air travel as an expensive luxury

        That's an interesting and tempting thought. How do we manage the mechanics of it? Left alone, the airline industry will recover over time and grow again to the size it was last year, and bigger.

        That implies some form of intervention. Traditionally, governments use taxation as a mechanism to reduce anti-social and unwelcome behaviour - taxes on booze, fags and fuel f'rinstance.

        So how can we tax air-travel? Should there be some sort of tax-allowance so that we can all have one short-haul flight a year? Some sort of reverse air-miles system? 2000 miles free per year, after that there's an extra 10p/mile tax? 25p/mile in First/Business class?

        Or would it be better to tax the aircraft rather than the passenger?

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Priorities?

          What about those of us with lots of relatives in the Antipodes. 2000miles doesn't get you very far on the way to NZ.

          But don't worry I've been back just three times since 1993.

          1. IGotOut Silver badge

            Re: Priorities?

            Or do what the French are doing. Want a bailout? Sure, no more domestic flights then.

            It's crazy that in many countries domestic passenger flights are thing. Yes there are exceptions, such as island hopping, huge countries or where there is no alternative e.g Alaska, but London to Manchester? Really?

            If there are to continue, increase airport duty to £100 each way and use the money to improve rail.

            1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

              Re: Priorities?

              Mandate that airlines must use biofuel. Ticket prices will go up a bit but not a lot, and we can all enjoy guilt-free holidays again. The biofuel industry will ramp up to meet increased demand as soon as demand is increased.

              1. IGotOut Silver badge

                Re: Priorities?

                "Mandate that airlines must use biofuel. "

                Not until biofuels are FORCED to only source from environmentally friendly methods.

                It no good saying "we're using biofuels" if that has come from a sugar or palm oil plantation that was once part of the rain forest or was for food agriculture.

                From these sources it's hardly any better than oil.

        2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: Priorities?

          I saw the idea of air-allowance floated some time ago, pre-covid. It would be a nightmare to implement, though (for instance, do business trips come out of your allowance, or would they be assigned to your company?).

          The most practical solution would be a carbon tax on all flights, contributing to a climate change fund. France launched such a tax years ago for Unitaid, but only a handful of countries participate.

          1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Priorities?

            The most practical solution would be a carbon tax on all flights, contributing to a climate change fund. France launched such a tax years ago for Unitaid, but only a handful of countries participate.

            We are already in a world that is on average 1 degree above pre-industrial levels - we passed that grim milestone in 2015.

            We are now on course for 3 degrees. Doesn't sound much, but the thermal expansion of the average two mile deep oceans coupled with melting ice makes cities like Alexandria, Rio, Miami, Shanghai, Osaka and Hong Kong uninhabitable within 50 years. A two mile high column of water doesn't have to expand by much to grow several metres. It's going to happen. And let's not even talk about the desiccation of the major food production areas of the globe, with the resulting mass starvation, global wars, and population migrations.

            I don't think a bit of tax on plane flights is really going to fix this.

            1. MatthewSt

              Re: Priorities?

              No, what you really need is a good plague to bring the numbers back down to a manageable level...

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Priorities?

      Perhaps, under the present circumstances, his return ticket could be replaced by one way only?

    4. Lars Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Priorities?

      I might agree with "no State aid for Virgin Atlantic" but travelling across the Atlantic did not end with the Titanic.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space......"

    ...and hopefully leaving the conniving beardy tax dodging cüńt there.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      extra passengers

      Can he make room for three more passengers?

      1) Donald Trump

      2) Elon Musk.

      3) Vladimir Putin

      I'm sure that the flight woud be a great success with those great leaders aboard as long as 1) & 2) are disconnected from all forms of social media.

      this is a joke ok. We need a few things to make us smile during lockdown don't we...

      1. Felonmarmer

        Re: extra passengers

        And let Trump pilot it. On manual.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: extra passengers

        The Beardy outfit is a running joke, 15 years and only 1 sub orbital hop IF you count space from 70km altitude

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: extra passengers

        Surely Musk will make his own way there. I think there are probably a few candidates for the extra seat & Musk can take a few more on his flight.

  4. macjules Silver badge
    Coat

    Virgin Galactic takes another step towards blasting Richard Branson into space

    I look forward to the headline in a year's time "Virgin Galactic takes another step towards bringing Richard Branson back from space".

  5. Bob Vistakin
    Devil

    Everyone loves the NHS

    None more so than Branson, who got £2m by suing them in 2016 for having the audacity to not do business with him. Literally that - they refused to bend over to his enforced privatisation so he sued them. From his tax free island.

    I hear Branson was especially interested in Tom Moore's activities, since there's nothing stopping both of them doing it all over again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everyone loves the NHS

      According to Virgin, It wasn’t so much sue them, Virgin were paid to shut up and go away. It was probably cheaper than rerunning the procurement process which is what Virgin wanted.

      https://virgincare.co.uk/blog/why-its-wrong-to-say-we-sued-the-nhs-because-we-lost-a-contract-in-surrey/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Everyone loves the NHS

        Well - they would say that wouldn't they? And what's more - they're the only people saying it...

      2. Fonant

        Re: Everyone loves the NHS

        Virgin Care certainly did sue the NHS, and they didn't need to.

        https://davidallengreen.com/2020/05/when-virgin-care-sued-the-nhs-and-how-virgin-have-since-misdirected-and-misrepresented-about-what-happened/

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