June 25, 2021. With 16 days to go before Richard Branson flies into space, the entrepreneur reflects on his early years and the influence of his iconoclasic mother. As a dyslexic teenager, Branson left school to create a magazine called Student, which led to a mail-order record business and, eventually, Virgin Records and Virgin megastores.
In the 1980s, as the success of Virgin Records takes off, Branson begins exploring the full potential of the brand – leading to the launch of Virgin Atlantic. To attract media attention to his new airline, Branson attempts a series of dangerous stunts, including breaking the trans-Atlantic speed record by boat and a death-defying balloon adventure.
Despite a rock start, Virgin Atlantic prevails in a libel suit against rival British Airways. Chasing even greater ambitions, Branson announces plans to develop a spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic, kicking off what would become a decade-long pursuit.
In the run-up to Virgin Galactic’s first passenger flight in July 2021, the company’s arduous history is examined – from its conception and test flights to a controversial bid to obtain government support during the Covid-19 pandemic. After nearly two decades of research, testing, and setbacks, an undeterred Branson heads to space.
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