Richard Branson says Elon Musk made a surprise visit in the middle of the night with his 2-year-old son hours before his first space flight
Sam TabahritiJan 8, 2023, 8:00 AM
Elon Musk paid Sir Richard Branson a surprise visit before his first space flight in July 2021. Getty Images
- Richard Branson told The Sunday Times that Elon Musk made a surprise visit to his New Mexico home.
- It occurred in the early hours of July 11, 2021 ahead of the first Virgin Galactic flight.
- A barefoot Musk wanted to wish Branson luck on the flight and brought his 2-year-old son along too.
Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson said Elon Musk paid a surprise visit in the middle of the night with his two-year-old son just hours before his first space flight.
“I think it was about 2:30 a.m.,” Branson told The Sunday Times, recalling the morning of July 11, 2022, ahead of his flight to space. “I woke up two hours earlier than I was meant to and jumped out of bed, and then actually realized I’d got the wrong time but by then I was wide awake.”
Branson, who was part of Virgin Galactic’s first crew to fly to space, served as a “mission specialist,” testing the passenger experience for future customers.
After waking, he went to the kitchen at his home near the Virgin Galactic spaceport in New Mexico for coffee and found a barefoot Musk standing there.
“Elon had decided to surprise us” to wish his friend luck on his debut flight, Branson told the newspaper.
“Basically, he’s a night animal. He doesn’t really sleep at night and gets his sleep in the daytime. We made a pot of tea and sat outside under the stars and caught up,” he added.
The SpaceX CEO also went to the launch site to watch the flight and later told Branson: “Congratulations, beautiful flight.”
Virgin Galactic’s next flight is scheduled for this summer. Branson told The Sunday Times he’d be “delighted” if Musk could fly sometime, but said “he’s obviously got his hands full at the moment,” referring to his Twitter takeover.
Branson also described Musk as “tremendously smart and even more driven,” and admired “his talent and his willingness to take calculated risks.” and applauded his determination not to give up despite numerous failures. “He’s the Henry Ford of his generation.”
Musk didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.