Richard Branson visited Gostomel

The founder of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, came to Gostomel and looked at the destroyed airfield of the Antonov Corporation. The British billionaire is known for supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia since 2014.

Richard Branson in Gostomel. Source: Taras Dumenko

Richard Branson in Gostomel

Richard Branson visited Ukraine on June 29. The visit of the British billionaire was not announced in advance. It became known about him from the message of the head of the village administration of Gostomel Taras Dumenko.

Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group of companies, in particular the operator of tourist suborbital flights Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit, engaged in launching small satellites. It is not surprising, therefore, that first of all he was interested in the destruction of the Gostomel airfield and the prospects for its restoration.

Branson is also known as an ardent fan of European Ukraine. Back in the winter of 2014, he opposed the adoption of “dictatorial laws” by the Verkhovna Rada. Later, the billionaire called on the European community to take the occupation of Crimea seriously and abandon Russian energy carriers.

With the beginning of a new phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Branson strongly supported our state. Back in January, he wrote an article in which he called on global business to unite and defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Virgin Galactic and Antonov

The most interesting thing about Branson’s visit to Ukraine is that he visited Gostomel together with representatives of Antonov and the Ukroboronprom concern. At the same time, it is officially reported that he was interested in the prospects of resuming the airfield. However, we should not forget that during its capture by Russian paratroopers, the world’s largest AN-225 Mriya aircraft was destroyed.

WhiteKnight carrier with docked VSS Unity. Source:

“Mriya” (Dream) was once created for the transportation of a reusable spacecraft “Buran”. And Branson’s companies work with heavy aircraft, from which spacecraft are launched. So, it is quite possible that he will contribute to the creation of a new model of a giant aircraft.

In addition, the Russian aggression also caused a shortage of AN-124 in the world. These wide-body aircraft have recently been actively used to transport large satellites to the launch site. So, it is quite possible that the billionaire is interested in resuming production of these devices.

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time