— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 12, 2021
Virgin Galactic admitted on Tuesday that billionaire founder Richard Branson never rode his bike to his space launch site on Sunday, as shown in a well-known video on the company’s webcast. Ride a bicycle to the New Mexico state-owned spaceport near the town of Truth or Consequences, flanked by two SUVs, and hand the safety helmet to the attendant upon arrival. Branson, 70, hugged the crew in flight suits. One of them was the company’s chief astronaut instructor, Beth Moses.
He said, “You’re late, hurry up.” On Tuesday, an anonymous Virgin Galactic official passed The text message claimed to Reuters that the video was taken on July 5, the Monday before the flight, and Branson did not ride a bicycle at all. “The image of Sir Richard Branson shown at the Sunday event was pre-recorded and misidentified in a wide range of podcasts.
We regret the error and any confusion it may cause,” the official said Said in the text message. It is not clear whether the disclosure that Sunday cycling is fictitious will complicate the cross-promotion agreement between Virgin Galactic and Trek Bicycle. Trek, based in Wisconsin, claimed that Branson rode a custom bike to the spaceport on the day of launch.
A Trek representative was not immediately contacted for comment on the matter. Branson touted his plane flying a rocket, which was the company’s first full-staff test flight. As a pioneer in the new era of astronomical tourism, the company he founded will start commercial operations next year. The so-called Sunday biking seems to represent his public image as an adventurous business executive, and its Virgin brands-from airlines to music companies-are associated with feats of sailing through the ocean in sailboats and hot air balloons.
A video clip of the bike was posted on Branson’s Twitter shortly before its release on Sunday. During the live demonstration of the flight, Virgin Atlantic also played this video with the tagline “earlier today”. Branson himself picked up a bicycle ride from the spaceport’s post-flight celebration site. From his followers, “It’s great to ride a bike through this beautiful New Mexico countryside.” Reuters and many other media included video recordings of Branson cycling as part of their release day reports. When there was a problem with the time on Sunday, Reuters removed cycling from its article.