Richard Branson nearly went to infinity and beyond on Virgin Galactic flight


The Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc rocket plane that took Richard Branson into space had a wobbly moment on re-entry that is being investigated by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Eight Virgin Galactic officials told the New Yorker magazine that there were red warning lights during the flight of the VSS Unity.

Two warning lights flashed throughout the flight, according to the New Yorker.

After around a minute of flight, there was a yellow warning light that indicated the rocket plane was veering off its designated course and outside of its proscribed airspace shortly after it took off.

On re-entry, there was a red light signifying an “entry glide cone warning”. Nicholas Schmidle, the writer of the New York report, said the pilots would have had to react immediately to the red warning light to adjust their trajectory or cut the rocket motor.

The flight took place on 11 July and was the subject of some dispute over whether it actually went into space or just flew to the perimeter of where the sky ends and space begins.

Branson hailed the flight as the firing of the starting pistol on a new era of space tourism. Since then, Branson has sold 10.4mln shares in Virgin Galactic.


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