Jeff Bezos in front of the Blue Origin space capsule
Dubbed the “NewSpace” set, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk all say they took inspiration from the first moon landing in 1969 when the US defeated the Soviet Union in the space race, and there is no doubt about it how much it would mean for each of them to win the ‘new space race’.
Amazon founder Bezos appears to be the first of the three to fly into space after announcing that it will launch on July 20 on the New Shepard spacecraft of his space company Blue Origin.
The billionaire mogul will be traveling with his younger brother Mark, a former advertising director and volunteer firefighter and winner of a multi-million pound auction.
However, one report suggests that Branson could beat him by taking a suborbital flight two weeks in front of Bezos and his brother. The suggestion is that Virgin Galactic’s founder would travel on his VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo rocket plane on the weekend of July 4th.
Although SpaceX and Tesla founder Musk said he wanted to go into space and even “die on Mars,” he didn’t say when he could go into orbit.
SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the broader race for billionaires with numerous launches hauling NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists into space by 2021.
On February 6, 2018, SpaceX sent a rocket into orbit 140 million miles away on Mars, to which Musk’s own red Tesla roadster was attached.
Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule
NASA has already selected two astronauts to be on board the first manned Dragon mission.
SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help build its Starlink network.
Musk hopes this will create a networked network of satellites around the earth that will provide free internet to people around the world.
Branson and Virgin Galactic take a different approach to conquering space. It has repeatedly and successfully conducted test flights of Virgin Galactic’s Unity spaceplane.
The first took place in December 2018 and no later than May 22nd, with the flight accelerating to more than 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7).
More than 600 wealthy customers, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a seat for $ 250,000 (£ 200,000) on one of Virgin’s space trips.
Branson previously said he expected Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket company, SpaceX.
Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic Craft
SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger has the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one above their head.
The spaceship is 60 feet long and has a cabin 90 inches in diameter, which gives astronauts maximum space to soar in weightlessness.
It climbs to 50,000 feet before the rocket engine fires. SpaceShipTwo will part ways with its carrier ship White Knight II as soon as it crosses the 80-mile mark.
Passengers become “astronauts” when they reach the Karman Line, the limit of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The spaceship will then make a suborbital journey of about six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting about 1.5 hours.
Bezos announced in April 2017 that he is funding Blue Origin with roughly $ 1 billion (£ 720 million) in Amazon stock every year.
The system consists of a pressurized crew capsule on a reusable ‘New Shepard’ launcher.
Bezos is one of the richest men in the world and Blue Origin has successfully flown the New Shepard missile 15 times.
At its peak, the capsule reached 104 kilometers, just above the official threshold for space, and landed vertically seven minutes after takeoff.