From adman to rocket man: Beattie blasts off

Trevor Beattie, best known to adland for his “Hello Boys” and “FCUK” campaigns of the 90s, has finally realised his childhood dream – space travel.

He was one of three passengers on board Virgin Galactic’s fourth commercial trip to space on Friday 6th October, experiencing a few minutes of weightlessness during the two-and-a-half hour mission. On his his return, Beattie tweeted, a blank “to do” list and a picture with the caption “The most extraordinary moment of my life.”

Beattie bought the ticket nearly 20 years ago (it cost him £115,000 back then; they are now £350,000) and worked with Richard Branson on marketing for the Virgin Galactic brand back in 2006, but his obsession with space began well before then.

The former TBWA creative chief and founder of BMB (acquired by Cheil in 2008) turned 11 in 1969, the year Buzz Aldrin became the first man to walk on the moon, and has been waiting his turn ever since. He even made friends with Duncan Jones, the son of the original Starman David Bowie, and was a producer on a couple of his movies including the BAFTA-winning Moon.

Accompanying Beattie on his trip to space will be a “Lunar Industries” patch from the 2009 movie, a photo of his parents, and a school exercise book in which he documented his space obsession. He even left room in the book to paste a newspaper report of his space voyage and recently told the BBC that “the boy he used to be would be with him for the ride.”

The Virgin Galactic flights have been taking off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at a rate of one a month for the last five months. The flights don’t reach orbit, but they go high enough that passengers can experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the earth against the vastness of outer space.

Beattie was one of three passengers on board, one of whom, Namira Salim, is the first Pakistani woman in space. Of the six people in total, half are women. The other two women are Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, and commander Kelly Latimer, one of the two pilots.

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