On this billionaire area race, slipping the surly bonds of Earth apparently isn’t sufficient — not with out some glitz and a bevy of celebrities.
Richard Branson mixed personal spaceflight with present enterprise on Sunday as he launched into his highly-anticipated Virgin Galactic flight excessive above the New Mexico desert. He enlisted “The Late Present” host Stephen Colbert to introduce segments of a reside streamed manufacturing.
Mr. Colbert performed up a humorous rivalry he has cultivated with the entrepreneur on his speak exhibits over time, and joked about a few of Mr. Branson’s failed enterprise ventures, like Virgin Cola.
“Severely, he misplaced cash promoting sugar water,” Mr. Colbert quipped. “All aboard.”
Later within the manufacturing, a efficiency by the Grammy-winning artist Khalid is anticipated.
Round two hours earlier than lifting off, Mr. Branson shared a photograph of himself with a shoeless Elon Musk, a billionaire rival within the personal conquest of area.
“Nice to start out the morning with a good friend,” Mr. Branson mentioned on Twitter.
Even Mr. Branson’s arrival at Spaceport America wasn’t missing for showmanship. Flanked by two white Vary Rovers, the British mogul pedaled to the positioning at dawn on a bicycle, a video posted by Mr. Branson confirmed. As soon as there, different members of the flight’s crew greeted him and joked that he was late.
In England, the place he was knighted by Prince Charles in 2000, the highlight didn’t fully belong to Mr. Branson, nonetheless. Mr. Branson’s area odyssey coincided with the boys’s tennis closing at Wimbledon on Sunday — traditionally billed for U.S. tv audiences as “breakfast at Wimbledon.”
The flight additionally got here simply hours earlier than England was set to tackle Italy within the soccer finals of Euro 2020, which has drawn the collective consideration of many individuals in Britain. Some on social media advised that Mr. Branson’s timing was less than ideal.