Tuesday, March 21

Drunken millionaire caught between
moon, New York City.

Earth's Exosphere — (AP) Virgin Records founder and multimillionaire Sir Richard Branson prides himself on his unconventional lifestyle. From his daring entreprenurial excursions to his outrageous personal sense of adventure, some would say Branson has lived an extremely full life.

Now, Branson has a little more free time to evaluate such a life.

In 2004, Branson incorporated Virgin Galactic — a company designed to undertake the challenge of developing space tourism for everybody. But now, Branson's worst nightmare for easy and affordable space travel has come to pass.

His personal space exploration vehicle, VSS (Virgin SpaceShip), has lost
rocket power and is now adrift in the higher exosphere somewhere above midtown Manhattan.

Radio contact has been sporadic, but certain details about Branson's situation have become clear.

"Apparently Richard has gotten into the celebratory bubbly..." flight manager Ed Sweets said. "He's slurring his speech and has done the 'Houston, we've got a problem' line about 37 times. Believe me, it gets less funny every time I hear it."

While marooned, Branson has also added another entreprenurial wrinkle to his global empire.

"He calls it VirginFloatyPoop." muttered Eleanor Jensen, spokesperson for Virgin Galactic, "I think he's lost a lot of oxygen."

A private rescue effort is underway to rendevous with the stranded spacecraft.