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Tag: Virgin

Virgin Galactic carries test passenger to space for the first time

Virgin Galactic carries test passenger to space for the first time

Science
Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Virgin Galactic's space plane carried three people to the edge of space and back for the first time on Friday. According to NASA, space begins 50 miles from Earth's surface. During Friday's test flight, VSS Unity reached an altitude of 56 miles. In December, the plane reached an apex of just more than 51 miles above Earth's surface. In addition to spending a bit more time in suborbital space, Friday's flight featured a test passenger for the first time. Pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci were joined by Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor. "Beth Moses, experienced zero-g float time as SpaceShipTwo reached apogee today," Virgin Galactic tweeted. Moses is the first woman to enter space aboard a commercial vehicle. VSS Unity is Virgin Galactic's newe...
Branson hunts cash for Virgin space ventures

Branson hunts cash for Virgin space ventures

Technology
By Mark Kleinman, City editor Sir ‎Richard Branson is hunting new funds for his commercial space ventures, months after halting a $ 1bn (£775m) Saudi-funded deal amid an international furore over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.Sky News ‎has learnt that the Virgin Group founder has hired LionTree Advisors, a corporate finance firm, to help raise hundreds of millions of pounds to inject into Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit. Discussions with prospective investors, including sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms, high net worth individuals and strategic partners, are already under way, according to people close to the process.LionTree's appointment is understood to have been made on the back of expressions of investor interest that foll...
Flybe rescued by Virgin in cut-price takeover deal

Flybe rescued by Virgin in cut-price takeover deal

Business
A takeover has been agreed of the troubled regional airline Flybe in a £2.2m deal by a consortium led by Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic. The move, previously revealed by Sky News' Mark Kleinman, offers just 1p per share, significantly less than the company's closing price of 16.38p on Thursday.Shares were 90% down on market opening, reflecting the massive markdown in the value of the company.The consortium, which includes Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital Partners, will form a new airline group.Flybe will combine with Stobart Airways in a joint venture called Connect Airways.Cyrus will own 40% of the new company, while Virgin and Stobart will each take a 30% share.Under the deal, the three firms will also provide a £20m bridge loan to Flybe and £80m of furt...
Virgin Galactic reaches edge of space in historic flight

Virgin Galactic reaches edge of space in historic flight

Science
Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Virgin Galactic made history Thursday by flying to the edge of Earth's atmosphere, taking its boldest step yet in space tourism. The company's rocket-powered VSS Unity took off from its Mojave Air & Space Port early Thursday. Its SpaceShipTwo separated from the WhiteKnightTwo twin-fuselage carrier aircraft and reached a maximum altitude of 51.4 miles before returning to Earth. NASA recognizes the 50-mile mark as the edge of space. The test flight marked a major bounce back for Virgin Galactic, which saw pilot Michael Alsbury die and fellow pilot Peter Siebold injured four years ago when the VSS Enterprise broke apart in a failed test flight that put the entire project in jeopardy. "Incremental flight test programs are by definition open-ended and, to a great extent, each...
EE and Virgin Media fined £13.3m for overcharging customers

EE and Virgin Media fined £13.3m for overcharging customers

Technology
EE and Virgin Media have been fined £13.3m by Ofcom for leaving customers who quit broadband and phone contracts early "out of pocket".The regulator said about 400,000 EE customers who ended their contracts early were over-billed and paid up to £4.3m too much as a result.Ofcom said about 82,000 Virgin customers were overcharged by almost £2.8m. Virgin said it would appeal.Margot James, Digital Minister, said companies need "to play by the rules".Gaucho Rasmussen, director of investigations and enforcement at Ofcom, said: "EE and Virgin Media broke our rules by overcharging people who ended their contracts early. Those people were left out pocket and the charges amounted to millions of pounds."Fine 'not justified'The fine for Virgin Media...