Richard Branson is 'jealous' of Elon Musk's rocket launch

Elon Musk's leap forward in the space race has left at least one of his billionaire rivals feeling left out."I...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 5:01 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 5:01 AM

Elon Musk's leap forward in the space race has left at least one of his billionaire rivals feeling left out.

"I was a little bit jealous," Richard Branson told CNN's Christine Romans on Tuesday.

Branson, whose Virgin Galactic is racing to launch tourists into space before SpaceX, called Musk's stunning Falcon Heavy launch "extraordinary."

"They all just did fantastic," Branson said at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington. He added that Virgin Galactic is "thinking about what we can do to upstage that one."

Musk may have set the bar impossibly high. SpaceX captivated the world last week by executing the first-ever launch of its new rocket, called Falcon Heavy. SpaceX then one-upped itself by guiding two of the Falcon Heavy's first-stage rocket boosters to simultaneously land upright back on Earth.

"That was probably the most exciting thing I've ever seen -- literally ever," Musk said.

Always the showman, Musk pulled off another marketing coup by sending his personal Tesla roadster deep into space aboard the rocket. A dummy dressed in a spacesuit is sitting at the wheel, with David Bowe's "Space Oddity" blaring on the car stereo.

Related: What happened to the Tesla Musk shot into space?

Branson told CNN that Virgin Galactic would be "very disappointed" if it didn't launch into space -- with people -- in the next few months.

Virgin Galactic is competing with not just Musk's SpaceX, but Blue Origin, a private space venture launched by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.

"I hope that Virgin Galactic will be the first of the three entrepreneurs fighting to put people into space to get there," he said.

He said 800 Virgin Galactic engineers are working hard to make sure their technology is safe. "We will wait for their word before putting anybody up," Branson said.

Branson praised President Obama for recalibrating NASA to lean more heavily on private enterprise rather than doing it all itself.

"Elon, Jeff and ourselves can do things for a fraction of the price that governments can do it -- and I think we can make it a little more exciting as well," Branson said.

--CNNMoney's Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3147735

Reported Deaths: 36846
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles106550515184
San Bernardino2628581594
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2255582344
Orange2214932625
Santa Clara964351181
Kern89095590
Fresno847441043
Sacramento828611157
Alameda69693886
Ventura64404507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54416487
Stanislaus43938788
Tulare42759531
Monterey37285259
San Mateo33731340
San Francisco30027278
Santa Barbara26514264
Solano26494111
Imperial25562493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24761247
Kings19760160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16437151
Madera13781151
Santa Cruz12687130
Marin11930163
Yolo11014138
Shasta9920129
Butte9711134
El Dorado800259
Sutter792783
Napa782847
Lassen526916
San Benito514348
Yuba504929
Tehama446846
Tuolumne344340
Nevada329674
Mendocino325635
Amador304232
Lake268132
Humboldt249425
Glenn198522
Colusa18549
Calaveras167223
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8732
Plumas6055
Modoc3873
Mariposa3464
Trinity3054
Sierra880
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Oroville
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 34°
Chico
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Red Bluff
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 29°
Red Bluff
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 29°
Chico
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Some snow and rain possible Sunday into Monday. A major winter storm will bring up to 7 feet of snow to the mountains and multiple inches of rain to the valley Tuesday through Friday and keep temperatures cold.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events