George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic
Wants to talk about space but also about sharing about dreams (shows video of Branson and the space plane/rocket).
When we think of space, do we think of a large gov programme that needs lots and lots of people? or is it closer to Virgin Galactic, which is smaller. Galactic is taken up to 50k ft and then dropped. does not need the same type of infrastructure.
Galactic started with X-prize, Scale composites who wanted to compete, then Paul Allen who wanted to do it to, then Branson looking to commercialize it and bring it to people around the world. SpaceshipOne flew 3 times to space and won the xprize and showed that a small team could make it
We are excited to bring space to many people, including global leaders, let them see the world from space. We bring weightlessness. Brings something completely new to people. The third part is the most profound. looking out, to the galaxy with no atmosphere.
We have 475k people signed up. Amazing group of people. Incredible group of people, we share experiences in the lead up to commercial flight. Since the beginning of space travel, 525 people have been to space. We want to to that in first year. We’ll be flying from spaceports, they are springing up all over the UK, around the world. Will be flying from spaceportamerica, in New Mexico Building spaceships in California, getting new investors, company capitalised at over 1b.
Project is testament to that small groups can do things. Space industry is going through the same phase as aero industry 100 years ago. Expect to see space trips, but turns into commutes, eg going across the atlantic in