Hello from 2025

  • Feb 27, 2014 7:02am GMT

Why does space matter? Read Sir Richard Branson's son Sam Branson's letter from the future on how space has transformed our relationship with our planet. (Richard Branson and his son Sam will be on Virgin Galactic's first suborbital spaceflight and Sam shared this yesterday on Virgin.com)

"Dear Sam,

How are you, young man?

It’s 2025 here, and I thought I would write a letter to you (yes, we still write letters in the future!) to let you know that the world is still here and spinning the way it should be ? in fact, it’s a great time to be alive!

I remember how you're feeling right now. Soon you’ll be flying into space on Virgin Galactic’s maiden voyage. All those nerves and fears that you’re feeling are going to go away, trust me.

This will be your biggest voyage of discovery, the moment that you’ve waited your life for.

The Overview Effect, seeing the earth from space, has had a huge impact on me.

The power of perspective is something you’ve believed in for a long time, and this experience has really reinforced this way of thinking. It’s a feeling I’m so passionate about sharing.

Seeing the Earth like this has given me a whole new sense of self awareness and perspective – it’s made me realize that, yes, it’s good to reach for the stars but that I should never forget to look back and see where I’ve come from. I came back a better and more enriched person – someone with an even bigger urge to change the world for the better.

And luckily many more people have shared this experience now. From where you are, the Overview Effect has only been experienced by a select few, yet now it’s been experienced by many, many thousands… And we need this more than ever. Seeing Earth as not just the place where we live, but as a living fragile entity that needs to be cared for and cherished continues to be a powerful social force.

In the time between you and me, our world has faced some major challenges. There have been many successes – we got a global agreement on climate driven by a global people’s movement tired of government inertia. That has given birth to some amazing innovations – in transport, energy and education… I don’t want to spoil any surprises for you, but you’ll be amazed to see your son’s school and how they learn!

But tough challenges remain. Every time we have food riots or a big weather event (last month New York was hit really bad), people talk of living in space as a solution. It’s true that plans for living on the moon are well developed, but we can’t use this as a ‘get out of jail’ card.

As well as commercial space travel, Virgin Galactic has been able to help develop new and exciting technologies to change the way we operate on this planet. We have learnt more about our planet and its place in the universe than you would ever believe!