There’s a long story at The Daily Beast about it. The author gets this wrong, though:
There has never been any doubt about who the Number One Passenger is going to be: Branson himself. Soon after last year’s crash he was repeating an ambition aired many times before—that he looked forward to going up—and taking his son Sam and daughter Holly with him. The idea was that seats for the Bransons would be installed in the cabin behind the pilots as soon as SS2 had achieved the apogee height in tests. (That probably couldn’t happen without the FAA approving an operator’s license, whether Branson realizes this or not.)
There’s no such thing as an “operator’s license.” In theory, if he’d wanted to, Branson could have been aboard the flight that destroyed the vehicle last fall, and the FAA would have had nothing formal to say about it.
Meanwhile, Andy Pasztor has his take at the Journal (do a Google search on the article title to read it). This quote seems a little disingenuous:
According to a summary of that interview released by the NTSB earlier this week, Mr. Hardy also said that “he had never seen an applicant [for an FAA launch permit] make the assumption that a pilot would not make a mistake” as part of a formal hazard analysis.
How many has he seen that actually had pilots involved?