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Richard Branson says Elon Musk surprised him in his kitchen at 2 a.m. last year before spaceflight




Richard Bronson said in an interview this weekend that last year Elon Musk made a surprise visit to his home in New Mexico around 2:30 in the morning to wish him luck on his first space flight.

Branson said he awoke in the middle of the night to find the SpaceX chief barefoot in his downstairs kitchen with his fast-sleeping baby X Æ A-1[ads1]2 after a co-worker let him inside.

“I think it was about 2:30 a.m.,” Branson told the paper. “I woke up two hours earlier than I was supposed to and jumped out of bed, and actually realized I had got the time wrong, but then I was wide awake.”

He said he went down to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and found that “Elon had decided to surprise us. He was there with his baby. Basically, he’s a nocturnal animal. He doesn’t really sleep at night and gets sleep. in the daytime. We made a pot of tea and sat out under the stars and caught up.”

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Richard Branson says Elon Musk surprised him in his kitchen at 2 a.m. last year before spaceflight

Musk later joined Branson at the New Mexico spaceport before the latter took off for his 90-minute Virgin Galactic to briefly experience weightlessness, beating Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flight by nine days.

Virgin Galactic’s next flight is this summer, and Branson said he would be “happy” to have Musk fly one time, “but he obviously has his hands full [with Twitter] currently.”

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Musk has said he prefers to ride on Virgin Galactic because SpaceX is more focused on the orbital space.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson briefly flew into space aboard a Virgin Galactic vessel in July 2021. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images | Virgin Orbit / Getty Images)

“There’s a big difference that the public doesn’t fully appreciate between in-orbit and sub-orbit spaceflight,” Musk told the newspaper 12 years ago. “To do a spaceflight in orbit you have to have a terminal velocity of 25 times the speed of sound – Mach 25. While suborbital you can escape with a terminal velocity of Mach 3.”

He added at the time, “What Branson is doing is cool. It’s great, and I’ve actually bought a ticket. I’ve asked for a date. I’m not sure when exactly, but I’m going to fly this thing. “

Elon Musk at a press conference

Elon Musk has said that he personally wants to go into suborbital space aboard one of Richard Branson’s vessels because SpaceX is focused on orbital space. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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Musk, who is the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter, does not yet have a plane.

“Elon is tremendously smart and even more driven,” Branson told the Times. “I admire his talent and his willingness to take calculated risks. He’s been inches from failure on many, many occasions and kept pushing. He’s the Henry Ford of his generation.”



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