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Virgin Galactic Founder Claims not to be in Race with Jeff Bezos

This weekend, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson will aim to become the first billionaire to attach himself to a rocket emblazoned with his company’s logo and launch himself into space. Branson’s mission will beat fellow space baron Jeff Bezos’ trip by nine days if everything goes according to plan. (Branson insists that he didn’t have time for his trip to beat Bezos, but come on.)

The British businessman will depart from a facility in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, roughly a week before his 71st birthday. Anyway, this is a massive stunt with a lot of potential for failure. However, Virgin Galactic has several safety safeguards in place, and it has undertaken 20 test flights, albeit only three of them have reached the edge of space.

It’s hard to picture Branson not remembering the company’s 2014 disaster, which killed one pilot and severely injured another while sitting on that desert launchpad in ToC (as I assume the locals name it). Jackie Wattles, one of my colleagues, will be covering the launch on Sunday, and she’ll be doing a deep dive into the entire 2,300-mile-per-hour voyage.

Following an inquiry, the European Commission fined Volkswagen Group and BMW $1 billion for conspiring with Daimler to delay developing technology that may have lowered hazardous emissions from their vehicles. If you’re not sure what inflation is, here’s an easy way to think about it in today’s economy: If you purchased a car last year, there’s a good chance it’s now worth more than you spent.That contradicts the basic economic truism we learn as teenagers: a car’s value depreciates when you drive it off the lot. However, in a world where automobiles are in short supply and demand is high, the converse is true.

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