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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 27 January 2021

"I respect you enormously normally" - Richard Branson gets testy with Channel 4's Jon Snow

The Virgin founder was asked about levels of risk at Virgin Galactic.

Source: TopTellyFan/YouTube

VIRGIN GROUP FOUNDER Richard Branson appeared on Channel 4 News last night to answer questions about the death of one of Virgin Galactic’s pilots during a test flight on Friday.

The billionaire became quite irate when news anchor Jon Snow began to probe Branson about alleged safety concerns at Virgin Galactic.

“I find it very insulting your, the whole tone of your questions, and it is absolutely clear and the NTSB has said that there has been no fault with the fuel tanks, no fault with the engine whatsoever.”

Some rocket scientists have questioned the type of new fuel used for the first time during last Friday’s test flight. But as Branson correctly pointed out, there have been no indications as yet that the fuel tank exploded or indeed that there was any explosion at all.

Early clues suggest that a tail section designed to tilt upwards and slow the spaceship may have deployed prematurely causing the craft to break up.

When pushed further by Snow about Virgin Galactic “working in complete secrecy”, Branson took direct issue with Snow:

I just can’t quite believe your line of questioning. I respect you enormously normally, I have no respect for you at all for the way you’re conducting this interview. But anyway I’ll answer your questions.

Snow put it to Branson that Nasa estimates safety chances at 97% and asked what level of risk would Virgin deem to be acceptable.

Branson said that commercial space travel is currently at a level of risk similar to that of early air travel in the 1920s and that Virgin Galactic are working to improve on this.

Read: One pilot dies after Virgin Galactic spaceplane crashes in test flight >

Read: Virgin Galactic opens world’s first spaceport in New Mexico >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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