At the time, both tycoons created space tourism companies, together with Elon Musk’s already existing SpaceX, positioning themselves as leaders in the suborbital flight sector for the rich, sowing clear and fierce competition between Blue Origin (founded in 2000). , the company of Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic (founded in 2004), that of Richard Branson.
Virgin Galactic vs Blue Origin
For now, Branson will travel to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc’s test flight on July 11 , surpassing billionaire (currently the richest person on Earth) and aspiring astronaut Jeff Bezos and marking a key milestone. in the race that would usher in a new era of private commercial space travel. It would also mean that Branson would travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere before Bezos, his rival with Blue Origin, as Bezos’ spaceflight with his brother Mark and 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk as a guest of honor, is scheduled for the next July 20th. He will become the oldest person who has ever traveled to space, as that record is held by the American astronaut John Glenn who flew in 1998 at the age of 77 on the space shuttle Discovery.
The space race is more than hot. In fact, Branson had planned to make his space trip on the second of his company’s test flights, but decided to get ahead of his rival and be the first to reach space.
What will Bezos’s debut flight be like?
The Blue Origin founder’s flight will be 10 minutes. It will lead them to accelerate to more than 3g, experience weightlessness in space, and finally return to Earth (much to the disappointment of some). It is scheduled for July 20, coinciding with the 52nd anniversary of the first moon landing.
What will Branson’s debut flight be like?
Virgin Galactic’s upcoming “Unity 22” mission, scheduled for launch on July 11, will feature this exceptional passenger, who reported:
“It is one thing to have the dream of making the space more accessible to everyone; it’s another thing for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality, ”said Branson. “As part of an outstanding team of mission specialists, I am honored to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure that we deliver the unique customer experience that people have come to expect from Virgin.”
As the name suggests, Unity 22 will be VSS Unity’s twenty-second test flight and Virgin Galactic’s fourth flight into space. The purpose of the test flight is to collect data about the spacecraft, including the cabin environment, seat comfort, weightlessness of the passengers, and the view of the Earth from the passenger area, as well as the effectiveness of the program. of Spaceport America training for its clients. Branson will be tasked with evaluating the “private astronaut experience” aboard SpaceShipt Two Unity.
What about SpaceX?
Elon Musk’s space company has stood out since its founding in 2002. Within the first six years of its founding, it had already launched the first privately funded liquid booster rocket, the Falcon One. From there More first times continued to arrive: first private mission to the ISS, first vertical landing of an orbital rocket, and first company to send astronauts into orbit. Now, 19 years later, SpaceX is already a mature business, generating revenue of $ 2 billion a year.
We are entering a new stage and we are eager to see it take off.