Sir Richard Branson is renowned for two things: his immense Virgin empire and his eccentric personality. At the official opening of Virgin Galactic’s spaceport (and the first one in the entire world) in the New Mexico desert, Branson had the chance to boast both his outstanding business success and his love for adrenalin and challenge.
He rappelled down from the balcony of the spaceport building, with a bottle of champagne, to christen the impressive structure in a completely unconventional style. The new space terminal will hold a preparation area for the travelers, the mission control center and the Virgin Galactic spacecraft itself.
The company announced that it will begin its test flights sometime next year, and that the commercial flights will hopefully start soon afterwards. Attending the important event were 150 people who have already booked their seats on the spacecraft for the 2.5-hour flights (which includes 5 minutes of weightlessness). Also present at the opening ceremony were astronaut Buzz Aldrin and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.