NEW YORK, NY—November 8, 2013 — Announced this morning on NBC’s TODAY, NBCUniversal inked an exclusive multi-platform partnership with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, to televise the inaugural commercial space flight of SpaceShipTwo. Next year, Sir Richard and his adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space on SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic’s terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico. NBC News’ award-winning Peacock Productions will chronicle the journey across a myriad of NBCUniversal brands and platforms including CNBC, MSNBC, NBCNews.com (http://www.nbcnews.com/), Syfy, The Weather Channel and more, culminating in a primetime special airing on NBC the night before launch, and a three-hour live event on “TODAY,” hosted by Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.
“Without a doubt, Sir Richard and his children taking the first commercial flight into space, will go down in history as one of the most memorable events on television,” said Sharon Scott, President and General Manager, Peacock Productions. “Through NBCUniversal’s multiple platforms and overseas network partners, viewers from around the world will get to experience this where were you moment; we’re extremely honored to chronicle Sir Richard’s journey and live launch into space.”
“Virgin Galactic is thrilled that NBCUniversal will join us on our exciting first journey to space,” said Sir Richard. “In this first chapter of commercial space travel, we will help make space accessible and inspire countless more people to join us in the pursuit of space exploration and science innovation.”
Link to Sir Richard and Sam Branson’s announcement on TODAY to follow.
About Peacock Productions
Peacock Productions is an award-winning, nonfiction production company that combines the editorial expertise, technical resources and seasoned production talent of NBCUniversal. It offers a wide-range of programming to broadcast, cable and digital entities with worldwide reach. To learn more, please visit peacockproductions.tv.
About Virgin Galactic
Owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and aabar Investments PJS, Virgin Galactic is on track to be the world’s first commercial spaceline. To date, the company has accepted nearly $80 million in deposits from approximately 640 individuals, which is approximately 10% more than the total number of people who have ever gone to space. The new spaceship (SpaceShipTwo, VSS Enterprise) and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve) have both been developed for Virgin Galactic’s vehicle fleet by Mojave-based Scaled Composites. Founded by Burt Rutan, Scaled developed SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 claimed the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the world’s first privately developed manned spacecraft. Virgin Galactic’s new vehicles, which will be manufactured by The Spaceship Company in Mojave, Calif., share much of the same basic design, but are being built to carry six customers, or the equivalent scientific research payload, on suborbital space flights. The vehicles will allow an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with astounding views of the planet from the black sky of space for tourist astronauts and a unique microgravity platform for researchers. The VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve test flight program is well under way, leading to Virgin Galactic commercial operations, which will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico.