TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Branson's space odyssey, Rockefeller tree arrives

Nov. 8, 2013 at 3:08 PM ET

Richard Branson is going to space, Jessica Menkhausen sees her baby's heartbeat and Natalie celebrates the start of the holiday season.
TODAY
Richard Branson is going to space, Jessica Menkhausen sees her baby's heartbeat and Natalie celebrates the start of the holiday season.

1. Sir Richard Branson made an out-of-this-world announcement this morning: TODAY will televise the first commercial flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo into space next August.

Branson and his two adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space. Mark your calendars!

Video: Sir Richard Branson, along with his son Sam, join TODAY to announce that NBC News will televise the inaugural commercial spaceflight of SpaceShipTwo. Sir Richard and his adult children, Holly and Sam, will be the first private passengers to travel into space on SpaceShipTwo from Virgin Galactic’s terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

2. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — on Rockefeller Plaza, that is.

The official Rockefeller Center Christmas tree made its way from the Vargoshe family's front yard in Connecticut this morning. The 12-ton elk – which is more than 13 Rockettes tall – will be lit on Dec. 4 during the annual lighting ceremony.

Video: The TODAY team go along for the ride as the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree makes its way to the plaza.

3. Head coach Tony Dungy told Savannah his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, had the chance to draft Richie Incognito in 2005, but passed because of his questionable character.

“That’s not to say he’s the guilty party in this,” he said. “I don’t know everything that happened there, but I do know the reputation that Richie Incognito had, and it wasn’t what we wanted in our locker room.”

Video: In response to the Miami Dolphins bullying investigation, former NFL player and head coach Tony Dungy says that he passed on recruiting accused bully Richie Incognito because of “the reputation he had.”

4. Jessica Menkhausen and Derek Manion, the couple who underwent IVF on TODAY in September, saw and heard their baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

“It’s been such a long journey to get to this point,” Jessica gushed. “I’m just so excited – I’m so glad that we’re pregnant!”

Video: Jessica and Derek, who we first met after we presented a live intro-fertilization on TODAY, finally complete their journey to pregnancy. NBC’s Nancy Snyderman reports.

5. Attention Savannah! Plucking gray hairs will not make more grow back.

After Savannah and Natalie saw a picture of Duchess Kate’s gray roots, Savannah confessed she doesn’t pull hers out. For the ladies’ sanity we did some research. Myth, busted.

Video: To help raise money for a charity, Duchess Kate took a ride on a city bus on Thursday, and photos show a few gray hairs on the glamorous wife of Prince William. TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!

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