Billionaire Space Race

in #sciencelast year (edited)

Big boys firing their rockets to start a new space race?

Yes and no...

Last week, Richard Branson went to space on board of his VSS Unity. Technically not a rocket, but a rocket-powered spaceplane. And technically not in space; at least not in "the space" as defined by FAI (FAI = Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).

Today, Jeff Bezos took a ride on his New Shepard rocket. Total flight time: 10 minutes and 10 seconds. Total time in space: 73 seconds. Just enough time for the showbiz...

"The Kármán line has been turned into a marketing gimmick. The rocket may have crossed the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and the outer space - but it didn’t manage to get to an altitude where spaceflight can be feasibly sustained." - VICTOR TANGERMANN

None of the two vehicles are capable of orbital flights.

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Next move?

15 September 2021: Space-X Inspiration4 - the first all-civilian mission to orbit. Also with a billionaire on board (Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments).

PS: Space-X already achieved two successful crewed orbital flights, while the third one is currently docked at the International Space Station.

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Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are just toys compared to Falcon 9, and are pixie toys compared to Starship.

At least Virgin involves new technological achievements providing airline like experience and a more comfortable ride into space.

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