Oprah Talks to Richard Branson
Richard: I was a risk-taker as a young man, and I don't regret it. I'm not adventurous in quite the same way now, but I still love the challenge of testing myself to the limits, flying around the world, or seeing if I can be the first to fly a balloon across the Atlantic, or trying to take people into space at an affordable price in an environmentally friendly way. I'll be going into space with three generations of my family!
Oprah: When are you doing that?
Richard: In 18 months. My mother will be 90 then, and my dad will be 93. My children will be in their early 20s. My wife is the only one who isn't going; she's much too sensible.
Oprah: That is the coolest thing!
Richard: In 12 months, we will have finished building the spaceship. We'll have extensive tests for another few months, and then we'll build this incredible spaceport in the New Mexico desert.
Oprah: Wow! How long will you be in space?
Richard: The initial flight will be quite brief—about three hours. Later we'll develop longer flights. We've got plans to build a hotel that will circle the moon. People will be able to take short rides from the hotel using the moon's gravity. We're dreaming, and the first part of that dream will become real shortly.
Oprah: How do you get these ideas? As you're brushing your teeth or showering, do you suddenly think, "I know: I'll create a spaceship, put my whole family on it, and have a hotel that orbits the moon"?
Richard: When people tell me something is impossible, I try to prove them wrong.