Elon Musk’s leap ahead within the house race has left not less than one of his billionaire rivals feeling overlooked.
“I used to be a bit of bit jealous,” Richard Branson instructed CNN’s Christine Romans on Tuesday.
Branson, whose Virgin Galactic is racing to launch vacationers into house earlier than SpaceX, known as Musk’s beautiful Falcon Heavy launch “extraordinary.”
“All of them simply did improbable,” Branson mentioned on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Companies Summit in Washington. He added that Virgin Galactic is “eager about what we are able to do to upstage that one.”
Musk could have set the bar impossibly excessive. SpaceX captivated the world final week by executing the first-ever launch of its new rocket, known as Falcon Heavy. SpaceX then one-upped itself by guiding two of the Falcon Heavy’s first-stage rocket boosters to concurrently land upright again on Earth.
“That was in all probability essentially the most thrilling factor I’ve ever seen — actually ever,” Musk mentioned.
At all times the showman, Musk pulled off one other advertising coup by sending his private Tesla ( roadster deep into house aboard the rocket. A dummy wearing a spacesuit is sitting on the wheel, with David Bowe’s “Area Oddity” blaring on the automobile stereo. )
Associated: What occurred to the Tesla Musk shot into house?
Branson instructed CNN that Virgin Galactic can be “very disenchanted” if it did not launch into house — with individuals — within the subsequent few months.
Virgin Galactic is competing with not simply Musk’s SpaceX, however Blue Origin, a personal house enterprise launched by Amazon ( boss Jeff Bezos. )
“I hope that Virgin Galactic would be the first of the three entrepreneurs combating to place individuals into house to get there,” he mentioned.
He mentioned 800 Virgin Galactic engineers are working onerous to ensure their expertise is protected. “We’ll wait for his or her phrase earlier than placing anyone up,” Branson mentioned.
Branson praised President Obama for recalibrating NASA to lean extra closely on personal enterprise somewhat than doing all of it itself.
“Elon, Jeff and ourselves can do issues for a fraction of the value that governments can do it — and I believe we are able to make it a bit of extra thrilling as nicely,” Branson mentioned.
–CNNMoney’s Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.
CNNMoney (New York) First printed February 14, 2018: four:02 PM ET