Virgin Galactic flubs livestream of Branson spaceflight, disappointing viewers

After heavy promotion, Virgin Galactic failed to show the initial vessel takeoff

Viewers were left frustrated and disappointed by a lackluster livestream as Richard Branson flew into suborbital space on a Virgin Galactic test flight.

The livestream of the launch featured host Stephen Colbert and video presentations, as well as glitches and delays. It did not, however, feature the actual takeoff of the vessel. 

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Billed as an historic moment in commercial spaceflight, billionaire Branson launched Sunday with three company employees, flying to the edge of space in a final test mission before kicking off commercial space flights next year. 

While the company spared no expense on research and development, it does seem as though Virgin Galactic skimped on the streaming set-up.

"Just hoping that they prepared for the flight better than they prepared for the broadcast," one Twitter user commented.

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After heavy promotion of the stream on its own platforms, the Virgin Galactic stream failed to show the initial takeoff.

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"Wish you would have shown the takeoff!" another Twitter user said. "We are tuned in to people talking after being hyped about being able to watch live! live means live!"

Another Twitter user called the coverage "awful" and said he would wait to watch highlights afterward.

Virgin Galactic did show the eventual flight into suborbital space, which hit Mach 3 with little problem.

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Branson spoke shortly after Unity 22 reached its goal, but technical issues prevented him from livestreaming his message, and the vessel was not able to show the passengers; the video was pixelated and heavily distorted. 

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Virgin Galactic couldn't show messages from the passengers on their return, either.