The future of space is bigger than billionaire dreams
Bezos vs. Branson: whose coolest space flight is?
While Richard Branson may have been the first in the billionaire space race to take a suborbital flight, Jeff Bezos is set to make history next week aboard what would be the first unmanned voyage. to the world on the edge of space with a fully civilian crew. Reuters correspondent Eric Johnson, who will be in West Texas for the Blue Origin launch on July 20, explains. JOHNSON: “Blue Origin designed the New Shepard, which is a rocket and capsule combo for fully autonomous flight. This means that the computers are in control and there is no possibility for a pilot to take control. They say it’s actually safer to have a ground crew controlling the spacecraft, rather than an individual astronaut in space, you know, making things work with a joystick like they did on missions. from NASA, you know, decades ago. They also developed a crew evacuation system so that in the event of a problem or anomaly with the booster, the capsule can separate and sort of drop the crew to a safe place. “Beyond security. , one question remains for potential commercial space travelers: Who is spaceflight the coolest to? JOHNSON: “Blue Origin was careful to point out that they go up to 100 kilometers. And that’s the limit of the internationally recognized space. Branson, who of course beat Bezos to the edge of space, however you want to define it, he went a few days ago. He went over 50 miles from high, what NASA and the US Air Force recognize as the frontier of space. But Blue Origin says in their marketing materials that this is a real astronaut experience because they are You know , I’ve talked to a bunch of different people who, you know, some people will say, well, Branson is co ol or some people will say the Bezos Blue Origin experience is cooler. But at the end of the day, UBS estimates that it’s an annual space tourism market of $ 3 billion over a decade. So, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are eagerly trying to prove and demonstrate not only that their experiences are safe, but that their experiences are better. so that they can capture more of this market. “On Thursday, Blue Origin announced that an 18-year-old physics student whose father runs an investment management firm will join the all-civilian crew of four for Tuesday’s scheduled flight, becoming the first paying customer of the company – after an anonymous auction winner, who paid $ 28 million for a rocket seat, dropped out due to unspecified “scheduling conflicts.” The teenager will join Bezos, his brother Mark and an 82-year-old female pilot who has always dreamed of traveling in space.