Richard Branson purchases Pluto with hope to reinstate it as planet

Richard Branson

British billionaire Sir Richard Branson is hoping to set a can-do example for “struggling entrepreneurs facing setbacks” by purchasing Pluto, his Virgin company has today announced.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic company will bulk up Pluto with a special deep space vehicle that “has a special harness to collect asteroids and space debris, which it will drag into Pluto’s gravitational field, increasing the planet’s mass,” Virgin rocket scientist Professor Chelovek Protaprilia says.The mission will depart one year from today and take five years to complete.

Branson wants to increase Pluto’s mass so the celestial body can be classified as a proper planet, alleviating it of its title as a the second most massive known dwarf planet. Virgin boasts that if the mission is successful, it will be the first time humans have made a planet.

Branson has purchased Pluto for an undisclosed sum.

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3 Responses to Richard Branson purchases Pluto with hope to reinstate it as planet

  1. James Long 1 April, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    April Fool!

  2. Laurel Kornfeld 2 April, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Great story! But seriously, Pluto IS a planet. Please do not blindly accept the controversial demotion of Pluto, which was done by only four percent of the International Astronomical Union, most of whom are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. Stern and like-minded scientists favor a broader planet definition that includes any non-self-luminous spheroidal body in orbit around a star. The spherical part is important because objects become spherical when they attain a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium, meaning they are large enough for their own gravity to pull them into a round shape. This is a characteristic of planets and not of shapeless asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects. Pluto meets this criterion and is therefore a planet.

  3. JR 2 April, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Laurel I think this is probably an april fools

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