Sir Richard Branson is the English business tycoon best known for founding the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.
The serial investor and philanthropist saw a career in business from an early age, setting up his first magazine at the age of 16 and launching the immensely successful Virgin Megastores in 1972. For his support of British business, his love of adventure, and his charitable work, Richard was conferred the honor of Knight Bachelor and was recognized by The Times as the most admired businessman of the past 50 years.
“I never set out to be a businessman,” he said. “I just wanted to create things that I could be proud of and that made a difference.”
As one of the UK’s most famous business magnates, he’s also trying to take his ventures out of this world. Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight company within Virgin Group, aims to develop commercial spacecraft and provide suborbital spaceflights for space tourists and space science missions.
“We are at the vanguard of a new industry determined to pioneer twenty-first century spacecraft, which will open space to everybody — and change the world for good,” Richard said, as quoted on Virgin Galactic’s official website.
According to its founder, Virgin is helping to create, for the first time, a basic space access infrastructure that will act as an enabler for scientists and entrepreneurs. The company will also provide the catalyst for a new age of space exploration, which promises enormous positive potential for life on Earth.
“I think the market for people who would love to become astronauts and go to space is gigantic,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “And it is up to us to produce as many spaceships as we can to cater with that demand.”