Jackie Wattles for CNN:
“Space is difficult. Rocket science is rocket science,” Branson said. “I obviously would love to prove our critics wrong, and I’m reasonably confident that before Christmas, we will do so. I think once we’re in space, we’ll obviously need to do a number of other test flights before I go up, and then before we start putting the…astronauts who signed up to go into space with us.”
Jeff Foust for SpaceNews, in April, 2017:
As he has done in recent interviews, though, he declined to give a schedule for beginning commercial flights of SpaceShipTwo. “I’ve made the mistake of giving dates before and being wrong,” he said.
When Jonathan Capehart, the member of the Post’s editorial board who interviewed Branson, mentioned the prospect of beginning commercial flights next year, he responded, “If you say so. That sounds good.”
Branson made similar comments in an interview published by the British newspaper The Telegraph April 2. “Well, we stopped giving dates,” he said. “But I think I’d be very disappointed if we’re not into space with a test flight by the end of the year and I’m not into space myself next year and the progam isn’t well underway by the end of next year.”
You can’t make this shit up.