Video Transcript

00:08 Richard Branson: Could you go straight into launching a spaceship company from scratch as a first-off thing? Well, possibly. I mean if you, say, take Virgin Galactic, I mean I literally just registered the name, Virgin Galactic Airways in 1991, which didn't cost me too much money, and then headed off around the world; fortunately I had an airline by then; to meet scientists and engineers and technicians to see if there was anybody that I felt could create a, you know, build a spaceship company with us.

00:54 Branson: And I was fortunate enough to come across Burt Rutan. And the initial stage of that spaceship company was the winning of the X Prize, the $10 million that came with that, and the fact that Paul Allen put up $25 million, and then we decided to take it on to a much bigger stage. And that will all come to fruition next year with Virgin Galactic Airways starting its "taking people into space" on a regular basis. And that has cost a bit. I mean fortunately, we've managed to get the Government of Abu Dhabi to... Or a company in Abu Dhabi, Aabar, to put in quite a lot of money.

01:42 Branson: But I suspect that's something which I couldn't have done without the reputation of the Virgin brand, I mean if I haven't had that reputation and perhaps personal reputation, the fact that we had pulled off audacious things in the past. And therefore, when we talked about taking people to space, I wasn't certified. They actually took me seriously. And the men in white robes didn't come to drag me away. There are some things like that which you could be more audacious about once you've actually built your reputation. I mean today, I just came from doing a TV interview where I talked about colonizing Mars. Now, whether we'd be able to do that in my lifetime, I don't know. But I think there's a possibility.

02:40 Branson: And sometimes... You know, my first book was called "Losing my Virginity." I nearly called it "Talking Ahead of Yourself" because I sometimes think "In life, you've got to dream big. By setting yourself seemingly impossible challenges, you then have to catch up with them and all your team around you have to catch up with them. And you can make what people believe is impossible possible if you set big enough targets."

03:11 Branson: You know, flying from New York to Australia in, say, two hours, can we do it in our lifetime? And I'm determined to try. And again, we have set ourselves the challenge of trying to get our engineers and technicians to work towards that, extending a bit of the technology that Virgin Galactic is working on. And, you know, occasionally, we'll fall flat on our face and not fulfill the DREAMS. But if you don't dream, nothing happens. So... And we like to dream big.