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Richard Branson on 'devoting' his life to tackling global issues
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Richard Branson fulfilled his lifetime dream of travelling into space on Sunday when his Virgin Galactic rocket plane took off on a 90 minute trip into space. The UK businessman reached the point where the sky turns black and Earth’s horizon curves into the distance. Branson hopes to offer out the experience to paying customers as soon as next year but he has been met with criticism over how essential the flights are and how much damage they cause to the environment. Speaking on Lorraine, Branson insisted travel into space was essential to protect the planet and human life.
Branson told the host: “There’s nothing else out there like Earth.
“We live on something with beautiful unique species that need to be protected. We need to get out and do our bit.”
“NASA always has this criticism of going into space,” Lorraine replied.
“I say, we have to do this, we have to find out what’s going on. The people who do that value Earth so much more.”
Branson continued: “That is one very important part of it.
“One other part is space already transforms our lives back here on Earth.
“Some people don’t realise the phones we use and this satellite link between us today is to do with space.”
Branson went on to note he had put the Virgin Orbit up to help more people connect with one another.
He also shared details on experiments he help facilitate in space, explaining: “We’ve had scientists up doing tests.
“Virgin Galactic goes to a place in the air that balloons can’t reach.
“Scientists are really excited they can do experiments and be in space when they do it.”
Branson later stated he didn’t like being called a “billionaire” and was simply working to create projects he could be “proud of”.
“Elon was a real gent turning up and coming with his child to wish us well and watch the flight,” he explained.
“Jeff I wish him all the best in a week’s time. Jeff’s programme, Elon’s programme and our programme will make a difference.
“I haven’t liked the ‘old billionaire’ thing. I think what we are doing is creating things we can be proud of, make a difference and pay the bills at the end.”
However, viewers watching at home weren’t convinced and took to Twitter to argued Branson’s trip wasn’t essential.
“I’m sorry did he just say he’s been trying to sort out climate change for 25yrs? He’s made his money by flying whopping great, gas guzzling planes round the globe. #Lorraine,” one viewer posted.
Another added: “How does blasting tons of fuel to f**k help the planet in anyway. #Lorraine.”
A third continued: “Give it a rest #RichardBranson your vanity project to fly your rich mates into space for a look at earth isn’t convincing me you’re some saviour of the world.
“@reallorraine #Lorraine shouldn’t be giving this billionaire a platform.”
Someone else shared: “#lorraine Bransons space project is all about generating profit. Nothing more, nothing less.”
However there was some support, with one viewer posting: “Great interview of @richardbranson on #lorraine. Inspiring the next generation into space.”
Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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