With the launch of Virgin Galactic on July 11, British entrepreneur Richard Branson beat his American counterpart Jeff Bezos to space by more than a week.
Soon, on Tuesday, Bezos’ rival space business, Blue Origin, will launch its inaugural passenger flight, which will include Bezos, his brother, aerospace pioneer Wally Funk, and a lucky youngster.
(The teen, Oliver Daemen, 18, is taking the place of the original passenger, an anonymous auction winner who paid $28 million for the seat but backed out due to “schedule issues.”
His father, a private equity CEO, paid for Daemen’s ticket, making him Blue Origin’s first paying customer.
Bezos scheduled his space mission for July 20 a full month before he stepped down as CEO of Amazon. Suborbital spaceflight on one of his own rockets seemed imminent at the moment.
Making him the first of the group of millionaire private space firm founders (a fraternity that also includes Branson and SpaceX’s Elon Musk).
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What NASA Future Wants From Them?
After the shuttles were retired and private companies took over ferry missions to the space station, this is exactly the future NASA envisioned.
On that Thursday, 10 years ago, Atlantis took off on the final shuttle voyage. Chris Ferguson, the last captain of a NASA shuttle, and now a member of Boeing’s Starliner.
Crew capsule team, is pleased by the two entrepreneurs’ decision to launch ahead of consumers.
On the occasion of the shuttle’s tenth anniversary festivities, Ferguson remarked on Thursday that “getting on it” was a guaranteed way to demonstrate faith in the product.
This was obviously not a hastily made decision. Both of them have my best wishes. It’s fantastic, in my opinion.
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Both companies’ millionaire founders are being shot into space in two separate spaceships.
Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are both on the cusp of taking off in space, with Branson’s Virgin Galactic set to launch in a matter of days and Bezos’ Blue Origin set to launch in the early 2000s.
The launches are a watershed moment in the burgeoning space tourism business, and they are the result of both firms’ development timelines crossing and their intense rivalry with one another..