2014 hasn't been the best year for many companies. But few feel that sentiment more acutely than Richard Branson's Virgin Glactic. In October, the space exploration company's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane went down in the Mojave desert during a test flight, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. 

Still, the consummate optimist was able to find a silver lining.

In a video published this week on his blog, Branson touted his team's response to the Virgin Galactic crash as an opener to the year's highlights: "Obviously what's dominated the headlines of 2014 has been the crash of the spaceship... What I'm proud of is [what] the whole Virgin Galactic team have done in being so positive in pulling together and looking forward."

In particular, Branson trumpeted how quickly Virgin Galactic was able to start building new spaceships--a sign of the company's ability to cope and dedication to space exploration. 

Of course, Branson is no stranger to big setbacks. There was the very public downing of his hot air balloon in 1987. And Virgin Brides, a clothing business that launched in 1996, went bust by 2007--"I think, because there aren't many virgin brides, it never really took off," Branson told Vanity Fair in hindsight. 

In March 2012, he spoke about the importance of viewing obstacles as opportunities, citing one particular Virgin flight delay that occured due to bad weather earlier that year. "Some obstacles can seem overwhelming," he told The Huffington Post. "It helps to surround yourself with good people, who can help see things from a different perspective and shed light on the darkest of situations." He recalled being proud of how the in-flight crew handled the delay, hosting an 'Airport Olympics' to alleviate customer tensions.

'Shedding light' is exactly what Branson went on to do in the video, painting the tragedy against a backdrop of Virgin's 2014 successes: Finally acquiring the east coast main line for Virgin Trains, launching a new Virgin Hotel in Chicago, and publishing his book The Virgin Way--which he describes as an "advice book for entrepreneurs"--to name just a few. 

Watch the video in its entirety below, where Branson acknowledged (indeed, gives "big kisses") to many of the 'good people' who made 2014 possible. Feeling inspired? Check out some of his top quotes to date on recovering from adversity.