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Richard Branson endorses graduate spaceflight training idea

King’s College London graduate Phil Carvil was one of ten people shortlisted by the Virgin StartUp team during a challenge where aspiring entrepreneurs were asked to pitch their ideas by writing them on the back of an envelope. Phil’s pitch was for ‘Pre-flight Fitness Training for Commercial Spaceflight’. 

Virgin StartUp is a not-for-profit organisation, conceived by Sir Richard Branson, that aims to ‘helps entrepreneurs aged 18-30 in England with the funding, resources and advice they’ll need to make their business idea a reality’.  

Sir Richard said of Phil’s pitch: ‘As a space enthusiast, this one naturally appeals to me. A pre-flight fitness training service for space tourists and astronauts sounds like a business idea that could really take off.’

Phil graduated from the Space Physiology & Health MSc degree programme at King's in 2012. He continues to work with the Centre for Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences (CHAPS) to evaluate a gravity loading skinsuit that has been designed for an upcoming mission to the International Space Station, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Virgin StartUp challenge was held at The Business Show in London on 28 and 29 November 2013.