Branson: I'll Still Be on Virgin's First Spaceflight

Dangers involved are 'worth it'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 4, 2014 6:22 AM CST
Richard Branson says the dangers of investigating space travel are "worth it."   (AP Photo/Scott Fain)

(Newser) – The crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo on Friday has unsurprisingly failed to deter Richard Branson: He'll still be on his company's first flight to space, he tells CNN. "There is no way I would ask others to go on a Virgin Galactic flight if I didn't feel it was safe enough for myself," he said yesterday. Nor, he says, are those who've already bought $250,000 tickets to space giving up, CNNMoney reports. In fact, two additional passengers bought tickets on Friday, the day of the crash. "They want to see this happen, and they want to show their commitment," Branson said. As for the flight's safety, he said it was comparable to commercial flights—on Earth—in the 1920s and 1930s.

Any danger, he says, "is worth it," Time reports. Michael Alsbury, the pilot who died in the crash, "would have been the first to say that," Branson noted. "Test pilots would say that because they know the risk they're taking, they know the importance of what they're doing, we know the importance of what we're doing." He also discussed the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board says it didn't involve an explosion, Branson noted in a British TV interview. "The NTSB has given me a strong indication as to what they think caused the crash," findings which he expects to be "ascertained" soon, the Independent reports. Early indications are pilot error. (Read more Richard Branson stories.)

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