Virgin Orbit fails on first rocket launch attempt, 'next big test ASAP' for Richard Branson’s spaceflight firm

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit failed on its first rocket launch attempt, which took place out of the Mojave Spaceport in Southern California. Read the rest

Richard Branson shares old scathing letter from Trump questioning his billionaire status

Remember 2004, pre-Twitter times, when Donald Trump was forced to secretly write his insults on paper and then mail them to his enemies? Virgin Group founder Richard Branson sure does, and he’s sharing a 13-year-old letter Trump sent scolding him for starting a reality show similar to The Apprentice.

Branson published the surly letter in his upcoming book, Finding My Virginity, according to The Independent.

The tirade includes Trump ravings such as: “You should try to get out of the airline business too...;” “I wonder out loud how you can be anywhere close to a billionaire…;” and “Do not use me to promote your rapidly sinking show…”

Excerpts of Trump’s letter via The Independent:

“At least your dismal ratings can now allow you to concentrate on your airline which, I am sure, needs every ounce of your energy,” Mr Trump wrote.

“It is obviously a terrible business and I can’t imagine, with fuel prices etc, that you can be doing any better in it than anyone else.

“Like television, you should try to get out of the airline business too, as soon as possible! Actually, I wonder out loud how you can be anywhere close to a billionaire and be in that business. Perhaps the title of your show, The Rebel Billionaire, is misleading?

“In any event, do not use me to promote your rapidly sinking show – you are a big boy, try doing it yourself!”

Image: Jarle Naustvik Read the rest

Photos show Richard Branson's private Necker island destroyed by Irma

Billionaire Richard Branson has posted images on Twitter that show post-Irma damage to his island, Necker, as well as other surrounding islands. He's working on getting aid to the British Virgin Islands, which were wiped out by Irma. Read the rest

Waiter, there's a Richard Branson in my beverage!

Virgin Atlantic first class passengers may soon find the frozen head of Sir Richard Branson floating in their cold drinks. Read the rest

Richard Branson: It’s time to end the failed war on drugs

"Just as prohibition of alcohol failed in the United States in the 1920s, the war on drugs has failed globally. Over the past 50 years, more than $1 trillion has been spent fighting this battle, and all we have to show for it is increased drug use, overflowing jails, billions of pounds and dollars of taxpayers’ money wasted, and thriving crime syndicates."—Virgin CEO Richard Branson, calling for an end to the "war on drugs." Read the rest

Virgin Galactic launches world's first commercial spaceport with performance by gravity-defying Project Bandaloop

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Man, if there's one thing Richard Branson knows better than anyone, it's how to put on an amazing launch event. Above, video from the Virgin Galactic kickoff for the world's first commercial spaceport, Spaceport America (alternate link), today in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Project Bandaloop did an aerial choreography performance from the side of the structure. Looked kind of like a really classy strip club in the sky. Branson himself joined the fun, and rappelled off the building during the ceremonies. The man knows how to have a good time.

Press release and photos from the event are here. From the sound of this Associated Press item, must have been a blast. (images: Mark Greenberg).

Previously on BB: "Virgin Galactic to unveil world's first commercial spaceport."

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Virgin Galactic to unveil world's first commercial spaceport

Richard Branson blogs: "A historic day today in New Mexico as we will be opening the first commercial spaceport in the world - Spaceport America."

More at the Virgin Galactic website.

We'll have photos from the unveiling event on Boing Boing soon. Read the rest