Branson-Bezos, head to head who flies first into space

Virgin Galactic boss says he is ready to leave on July 11, nine days before Amazon founder, who also embarks US Air Force pioneer Wally Funk

From left, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Wally Funk (photo Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin)

After overtaking of Space X del rivale Elon Musk on his Blue Origin for contracts with NASA for the development of the new lunar lander, Jeff Bezos could see each other again climbed over in the (this time personal) conquest of Space by another eccentric millionaire. If Bezos had already organized his participation in the first commercial suborbital flight of his space company for the July 20, the patron of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson has just made it known that he intends to board his scheduled forJuly 11. Damn, Jeff …

Prima Virgin Galactic

In reality, before being personal, the setback is corporate. Virgin Galactic has already received theauthorization of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the launch of passengers in the suborbital belt, while Blue Origin is still waiting official status.

The first commercial flight of Unity, so it was renamed Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two rocket, will bring between 80 and 100 kilometers from Earth the two pilots and three other passengers, one of which should be Branson, and will be broadcast live. The vehicle will describe an arc and for approx 4 minutes the passengers “Galleggeranno” like the astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and then re-enter the atmosphere and land.

Who can call themselves a real astronaut?

Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, would have pointed out that Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft they do not cross the famous Kármán line, the imaginary threshold placed at a height of 100 kilometers beyond which for the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale it can be said to have really gone to the space. New Shepard di Blue Origininstead, it will. And it matters little if, on the other hand, for the FAA we are already in space after 80.4 kilometers above sea level.

The maiden flight of Blue Origin is scheduled for July 20. A symbolic date as it falls on the 52nd anniversary of theApollo 11, as well as symbolic is the name chosen for the shuttle New Shepard in honor of Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space in 1961.

L’crew will consist of Jeff Bezos, from the brother Mark, by a passenger still anonymous who paid for the ticket more than 28 million dollars during an auction, and finally by the 82-year-old Wally Funk, a pioneer of the US air force that in the 60s was among the women of Mercury 13 who proved they could meet the criteria set by NASA to become astronauts and that this time he will really go to Space.

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