Richard Branson has warned space race rival Elon Musk that he must ‘learn the art of delegation’ and ‘get some sleep’ if he is to avoid further controversy.
The British billionaire said Musk’s late-night tweets – which have landed him in hot water a number of times this year – are a key ‘flaw’ he must overcome.
He added that the Tesla chief needs to find more time for his family and health if he is to lead an ‘enjoyable and happy life’ – a feat Sir Richard claims to have achieved by surrounding himself with a strong team.
Sir Richard’s space firm Virgin Galactic is currently locked in a battle with Musk’s rocket company SpaceX to be the first to send paying tourists into space.
The Virgin founder revealed this week that his company is just weeks away from its first test flight beyond orbit, with manned missions planned ‘not too long after’.
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Richard Branson has warned space race rival Elon Musk that he must ‘learn the art of delegation’ and ‘get some sleep’ if he is to avoid further controversy
The 68-year-old was asked by CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford: ‘If Elon Musk were to call you up, what advice would you give him?’
He responded: ‘I think he maybe needs to learn the art of delegation. It’s important.
‘He’s got to find time for himself, he’s got to find time for his health and for his family. He’s a wonderfully creative person but he shouldn’t be getting very little sleep.
‘He should find a fantastic team of people around him and still jump in on all the major issues.’
Sir Richard said that learning the art of delegation might address Musk’s ‘one flaw’ – his controversial Twitter rants.
‘Don’t feel you have to put out tweets about public shareholders, leave the public game to people who enjoy that,’ he said.
Sir Richard’s space firm Virgin Galactic is currently locked in a battle with Musk’s rocket company SpaceX to be the first to send paying tourists into space. Pictured is Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft during a test flight earlier this year
‘He obviously doesn’t enjoy it, so (he should) clear the decks and concentrate on the creative side.’
Musk tweeted in August that he had ‘funding secured’ to take electronic car maker Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership at a value of $420 per share.
He reached an agreement with US regulators last month to step down as Tesla chair and pay a $20 million (£15 million) fine for what the Securities and Exchange Commission called ‘false and misleading’ claims.
Sir Richard also revealed this week that his space venture is ‘weeks away’ from sending one of its rockets into space for the first time.
Sir Richard said that learning the art of delegation might address Musk’s ‘one flaw’ – his controversial tweets. Musk was fined $20 million (£15 million) by US regulators last month after he falsely claimed in a tweet that he was taking Tesla private
Virgin Galactic, which is charging $250,000 (£190,000) for a spot on one of its commercial flights, has previously said it would send passengers to space in 2019.
Speaking to CNBC, Sir Richard said: ‘We should be in space within weeks, not months.
‘And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years.’
‘We will be in space with people not too long after that so we have got a very, very exciting couple of months ahead,’ he added.
WHAT ARE THE TOP ALTITUDES REACHED BY VIRGIN GALACTIC, BLUE HORIZONS AND SPACEX?
Three companies are leading the charge in commercial space travel as they race to get tourists beyond orbit.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s firm SpaceX, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are all vying to be the first companies to send up the first commercial space flight.
But while Sir Richard believes Musk is ‘doing fantastically well’ in getting cargo into space – including his own car – the real tussle is between the Virgin boss and Bezos.
Musk has reached dizzying heights with his numerous private space deliveries to the International Space Station at an altitude of around 1.4 million feet (408,000 metres), but is yet to fly any of his planned passenger-carrying craft.
Blue Origin flew its New Shepherd spacepod, which launches aboard a traditional rocket capsule, to an altitude of 351,000 feet (107,000 metres) during a test flight near Van Horn, Texas, on April 29 (pictured)
Virgin Galactic reached a top altitude of 170,800 feet (52,000 metres) during a test of its VSS Unity spacecraft, which has room for six passenger and is lifted toward space on a huge carrier aricraft, on May 29.
Eventually, the company wants to fly space tourists to an altitude of 360,890 feet (110,000 metres) going beyond the 328,000 feet (100,000 metres) defined boundary of space.
Blue Origin flew its New Shepherd spacepod, which launches aboard a traditional rocket capsule, to an altitude of 351,000 feet (107,000 metres) during a test flight near Van Horn, Texas, on April 29.
The reusable New Shepard rocket and spacecraft is intended to carry up to six space tourists, researchers and/or experiments on brief suborbital flights, the company has said.
The business mogul has a long history of underestimating the time it takes his firm to get test flights into the air, and the company has repeatedly missed his lofty targets.
Sir Richard conceded earlier this year that the number of spurious claims he has made about Virgin Galactic flight dates was ’embarrassing’.
Virgin Galactic, founded by Branson in 2004, is working to carry tourists on a brief journey to space, dozens of miles above the Earth’s surface.
Tourists will spend several minutes floating in zero gravity, aboard a spaceship that approaches or passes through the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere and space, some 62 miles (100 kilometers) high.
For comparison, astronauts at the orbiting International Space Station fly some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.