Richard Branson Sends out Message about Gagarin Night

I thought this was worth sharing – here’s a special message from Richard Branson – someone on the forefront of humanity’s next space revolution – on the magnitude of today, the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s first flight.

“I was one of those lucky kids that spent his most impressionable years in a truly unique decade – the 1960’s. London was a pretty exciting place to be growing up in – anything was possible and most of the conventions of the past were being swept away in a tide of hope for a better future.

Looking back, it is obvious that the source of the optimism and inspiration we shared originated thousands of miles away from London; but it was beamed directly into our homes in glorious black and white and we all felt a part of it. That “it” was of course man’s conquering of the final frontier – a stupendous achievement considering that less than 60 years before, even achieving powered flight remained frustratingly elusive.

So, on the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight it’s right that we should look back and honor all the pioneers, explorers and mavericks who blazed the trail to space and allowed the rest of us to dream. It’s also a good moment to pause and ask where we go from here.

How do we re-inspire a new generation and make real the experience of spaceflight, not just for the lucky few but for all?

I asked myself that question for a good many years and am immensely proud now that with Virgin Galactic we are doing our bit to ensure that space exploration and everything that comes in its wake, thrives in the 21st century.

We owe it to ourselves, we owe to the first human in space – Yuri Gagarin, and we owe to our kids and future generations.

Today, all around the world, thousands of people will be remembering Gagarin in Yuri’s Night Celebrations.

Happy Yuri’s Night fellow space explorers! Can’t wait to host our first party in space courtesy of Virgin Galactic!”

Richard Branson

VSS Enterprise Lands at Spaceport America for Runway Dedication

The Spaceport terminal itself is still under construction – but it’s going up impressively fast and is going to look amazing. The runway itself has been completed and was dedicated, to much PR applause.

Here’s some video marking the occasion. The first from Gadling – which is well put together and another from Virgain Galactic.

Very exciting times and stayed tuned to Astrotopia for the latest news on Virgin Galactic and other private space operations.