Chichester space hero Tim Peake has excited Richard Branson with his views about the possibility of hotels in space and manned bases on the moon.
Branson, who heads up Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space travel company, revealed the pair chatted about space and the future at the Science Museum in London for an “evening of discussion” with invited guests including “many of our wonderful future astronaut community”.
Major Peake, celebrated at the city’s Novium museum with his very own exhibition, spent 186 days on the International Space Station. And speaking to Virgin.com, Branson said of the chat: “Of course, we talked about the future, and I was humbled to hear how Tim views commercial space travel as an integral part of the future of space exploration.
“It also excited my imagination hearing his views about potential manned bases on the moon, and even space hotels. But that is for another day. For now, the hard work will go on at our space companies Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit and The Spaceship Company, and Tim will continue spreading the word about space exploration, and preparing for his next mission.
“Aside from a sense of adventure, we definitely share a strong belief in the value of family. When Tim talked about discussing accepting his space mission with his family, I thought back to Sam clinging onto my leg before a ballooning adventure when he was very young. We both acknowledged the risks inherent in any adventure, but agreed they are usually worth it.”
And Branson says he also learned a lot about comfortable travel in space thanks to the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module, which took Peake to the International Space Station, which is at exhibit at the museum.
He added: “I got a close look at the capsule, and its scorch marks from re-entry are quite something (you can see it for yourself at the Science Museum until September 11th). Tim said it was quite an uncomfortable vessel for his journey, and it reaffirmed our commitment to doing things differently with Virgin Galactic and our own unique flight system.”