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Richard Branson’s Edge of Space Flight - Begrudgery in Action?

  • 17-07-2021 1:48am
    Registered Users Posts: 10,758 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid

    So as many here will be aware, billionaire and self-made business mogul Sir Richard Branson finally and successfully made it to the edge of outer space on his Unity Virgin Galactic vehicle last week. He said it was an amazing experience and wants to open space up to those wishing to pony up a cool €200K for the experience of seeing the blackness of space, the curved Earth below and four minutes of weightlessness. 

    Personally, I was happy for him - but many others were most certainly not. I posted the story of Branson’s sub-orbital flight up on a Facebook group for gay men over 40 I am a member of - and the anger and vitriol in the comments reserved for Branson, and those other two billionaire space entrepreneurs - Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Elon Musk - were a real eye opener. 

    I am more than aware that there is horrendous inequality and poverty, wars, Covid, famine etc. in the world, global warming where Europe is currently flooded as America burns - but Richard Branson himself has pledged almost his entire estate to charity when he kicks the bucket, has done good work already in this regard - but no, apparently he still deserves the ire and anger of people for what they see as a massive ego trip and publicity stunt for his Virgin Galactic enterprise. 

    Yes, I am sure there is truth in some of those criticisms - like how the super rich hardly pay taxes, avail of legal loopholes etc. But I think Sir Richard is trying to make the world a better place and open up space tourism. Maybe I’m not as bitter, jaded and cynical as some. 

    He also carried a Pride flag on his mission to mark the 5th anniversary of the Orlando gay nightclub massacre - but if anything, that made the men commenting on my post even angrier - saying he was paying “lip service » to LGBT visibility and that he treated his workers like complete dirt. 

    Real begrudgery in action - and it isn’t just an Irish thing, lads... 😔🙄😏

    Your views on the issue? Is that anger and bitterness against Branson really warranted?



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,556 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH

    It's the complete redundancy and uselessness of the action that's the problem. There's no "begrudgery" involved.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,305 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm

    Bill Gates does this in practice and only gets blamed for some sort of 5G chip conspiracy. If I were a billionaire, I'd just stick to space travel and avoid the conspiracy theories.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,157 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    Christopher C was using the wind and timber to get from A to B, wasn't bothering anyone except those who believed the earth was flat.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,115 ✭✭✭ con747

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,305 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm

    Branson, Bezos, and Musk are pushing boundaries. In my grandparent's generation, tourism wasn't a thing. Now everyone travels worldwide.

    Columbus was mocked for going on a ridiculous nonsensical journey on a wild hunch. Maybe by your own ancestors who didn't have the imagination to envision anything that they couldn't see right in front of their eyes...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,222 ✭✭✭✭ the dunne

    Branson didn't do anything that hadn't been done before. Comparing him to Columbus is either incredibly disingenuous or incredibly ignorant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,775 ✭✭✭ Effects

    Well he's made it possible for anyone with 200 grand to go on a crappy four minute trip into space. That hasn't really been done before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,305 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm

    Why is it only necessary to do something that someone hasn't been done before to make it important?

    If you actually took more than one second to read my post, I wasn't implying he was doing the same, I was saying that idiots mock people who don't actually understand the implications of what it's about. There's no doubt that there were people in 1492 thinking that Columbus was an idiot.

    Let me ask you this: Do you think that in the future there won't be hotels in space? Bearing in mind that world travel itself was historically only a rich pursuit?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I watched the entire Branson 'space' experience from beginning to end, since I had a few minutes free, and my main takeaway was that he is some scammer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,384 ✭✭✭ protonmike

    In terms of the innovation of space travel, that goes to NASA and all the other space agencies. Space is incredibly important in terms of our general future but to date, I haven't seen much evidence that Musk or Branson are doing it for any huge benefit to society.

    If anything, I think it points to a general need to tax the mega wealthy more. And I'd totally be in favour of sending that money into scientific endeavors by the various research groups that exist.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,886 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005

    We already have enough junk in space. Can we not keep ruining places for tourism.

    People are complaining that air travel is bad for the environment but at least that is bringing people and freight where its needed. What is the use of sending ordinary people to nearly space?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,556 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH

    You should ask Richard Branson. He might know.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,848 ✭✭✭ francois

    He's involved in the most expensive willie waving contest of all time

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,613 ✭✭✭ buried

    Comparing the situation to 1492 is completely ridiculous. Columbus went in search of the great passage to the east through a land beyond the west, and he had plenty of evidence to show he wasn't going to fall off the edge of the world in doing so, or run out of oxygen in a perpetual dark vacuum by doing it either. Outer Space is a different animal. We as a species cannot survive in it, nor ever will. Anybody that ever went up there to the zone that is well beyond the exosphere, levels towards deep space near the moon, they never went back up there either. There is a reason for it. I'd be intrigued to see if Branson does it again. I've a feeling he won't.

    "Lunar South is Solar East" - W. B. Yeats

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,208 ✭✭✭ AllForIt

    I'm sure some said the same thing when people started attaching wings onto bicycles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,322 ✭✭✭ Christy42

    What did he invent? They were trying to invent a flying machine. Branson isn't trying to invent anything. We have had people in space for the last 60 years. He didn't even come close to ISS so what did he do that was unique?

    There are a lot of benefits to space travel. Branson's little jaunt is not one of them. Curious how much tax payer money his company brought in in covid relief schemes as well. Would this have been possible without public funding going to his companies I wonder.

    Same for Bezos. He is entirely funded off of abusing his workforce.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 88,912 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight

    Branson the shameless self promoter pipped him to the post.

    New Glenn and the BE4 engine still haven't flown never mind made it to orbit reliably. Nothing to show for how deep Bezos' snout has been in the trough. Main contribution to the space race is lawsuits against NASA funding others.

    He's even using other people's rockets to launch his satellites. Branson has put stuff in orbit.

    In this competition Bezos is the one with an "*" beside his name.

    BTW first civilian flight above 50 miles in a reusable craft was 17/1/63 by Joseph A. Walker in an X15.

    Bezos will have one record "the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew" ie they are going as Payload

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,208 ✭✭✭ AllForIt

    Apparently flight travel can be a lot quicker by going straight up and down, rather than the more linear fashion it's done now. That can't be done with regular 747's and thus a redesign is necessary. Perhaps his work will help in that regard.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,461 ✭✭✭ nudain

    Pics of him standing up in the ship with a model in his arms and the earth visible in the background or it never happened.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,758 ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid

    Well, it seems like there are a few very valid concerns around the flight - but I believe this is more part of a wider push to open outer space to tourism than a simple vanity exercise for Branson, Musk and Bezos.

    Sure there is some competition and one-upmanship between the three of them, but the history of space exploration has shown us that competition boosts innovation and taking risks to advance human spaceflight.

    And Wally Funk is going up on Tuesday. 👍👍😎

    Would you go up there if you got the chance?