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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Eat the rich, but let them build rockets in the meantime – TechCrunch

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We should go to space. Really!

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic went to space (or the vicinity of space) in a PR-suffused event over the weekend. It was all rather twee, packed with maudlin riffs about childhood dreams and riddled with hero worship. And the stream kept stuttering while some of the planned vehicle-to-Earth communications failed.


The Exchange is continuing its look into Q2 venture capital results this week. If you’re a VC with a hot take on the numbers, we’re collecting comments and observations at [email protected] Use subject line “hot dang look at all this money.” Thanks! — Alex and Anna


But the launch accomplished what it set out to do: A few folks made it to into zero gravity after launching their rocket-powered space plane from a larger aircraft, flipping it around at the top of its arc so that its passengers could get a good view of our home while floating. Then it came back to the surface and, we’re sure, much champagne was consumed.

In the aftermath of the event, lots of folks are pissed. Complaints have rolled in, dissing the event and generally mocking the expense involved when there are other issues to manage. A sampling follows. Note that these are merely illustrative examples of a general vibe. I have precisely zero beef with anyone in the following tweets or articles:

And from the media side of things, this stood out today from the Tribune:

I disagree.

Sure, it’s maddening that Jeff Bezos’ new yacht will require a second boat so that he can have a mobile heliport on the go — his new boat has sails, so you can’t chopper to it — while the company that built his fortune churns through workers with abandon and squeezes its drivers so much that they have to piss in bottles due to scheduling constraints.

And, yes, Branson is annoying quite a lot of the time. He also owns an island and likes himself too much.

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