Richard Branson has unveiled the ‘mothership’ that will launch the pretend spacecraft which he hopes will briefly whisk obnoxious, selfish nerds with far too much money through the upper atmosphere so that they can kid themselves that they have really been in space.
The so-called mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, is made out of a pair of gliders stuck together with glue, but with four massive jet engines dangling off it.
Speaking at the roll-out, Branson told the onlookers – two reporters from the National Enquirer and the Daily Sport, and a stray dog with a limp – that he wanted the world to “wake up” and realise the fragility of the planet and the importance of protecting Earth.
“There are lots of hostile aliens out there whose sole desire is to destroy our beautiful planet,” said the bearded businessman. “I hope that my rich friends will queue up to pay £100,000 a time for the privilege of manning the front line in space. SpaceShipTwo is currently undergoing last-minute modifications to fit an unfeasibly large missile to its nose, and I plan to put an enormous, slow-talking robot UFO detector into orbit to complete the jigsaw of Earth’s defences. It will also broadcast my rotten TV channels to the whole planet so everyone will know the times of incoming UFOs, which already appear to be more reliable than my trains.”
“Eventually, I hope that my customers will raise enough money to send me to the moon,” said Branson, “Where I look forward to living out my twilight years, looked after by a highly-trained cohort of women in purple wigs.”