Space company Blue Origin founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos is set to launch its first crewed mission on Tuesday, July 20, just a week after Virgin Galactic (SPCE) sent founder Richard Branson into space, taking a milestone. The Unity 22 mission flew to the “edge of space,” about 85 km (53 miles) aboard a Virgin Galactic aircraft on July 12, making the prospect of commercial space tourism a reality.
Bezos’ blue origin has meanwhile claimed that his space travel will have a lot more to offer as the crew, including the very first civilian with a space flight ticket, will take off beyond the achievable realm of Galactic. towards the Kármán line, a distance of 100 km (62 miles) adopted by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). NASA and the US military do consider space to begin about 80 km (50 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
So what compares and what stands out between the Amazon boss’s and Branson’s tourism business as they each strive to push the boundaries of commercial suborbital space travel. ?
While both space flights pursue the same goal with their first full-crew launches with civilians and not astronauts on board, there can be stark differences that can be hard to miss. The first being “speed”. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity (VSS Unity) is a typical suborbital space plane designed by a carrier aircraft called WhiteKnightTwo with a recorded speed of 15,000 meters (approximately 50,000 feet) as it takes off from the runway.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard consists of a booster rocket and capsule, which, apparently, will be “launched” into space in the same manner as rockets from NASA or Elon Musk. This clearly shows that Bezos’ blue origin pursues much more complex landing procedures such as that of a typical rocket launch. Additionally, Blue Origin displays the “largest windows in space” with dimensions of 42 “x 28” for a mesmerizing view while Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceflight has coated standard aircraft-sized windows. .
VSS Unity’s altitude remains at 86 kilometers (approximately 54 miles) as the maximum achievable height while New Shepherd aims for 105 kilometers (approximately 65 miles). A seat aboard Jeff Bezos Blue’s new Shepherd originated at auction for $ 28 million, while Virgin Galactic racked up $ 250,000 per seat. New Shepherd will also have no pilots, only 6 passengers, while Branson’s spacecraft flew with 2 pilots and 4 passengers. In addition, the crew of the VSS Unity experienced 4 minutes of weightlessness after leaving Earth’s atmosphere. The crew of their rival spacecraft will record around 3 minutes of weightlessness in space.
It is worth noting that, by NASA standards, Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity flew into space, New Sphered will officially cross the Kármán Line, the very first commercial spaceflight to do so. VSS Unity was also carrying NASA’s payload, apparently Arabidopsis thaliana tubes to bring the samples back to scientists for further microgravity experiments. So far, Bezos has not confirmed any payloads on New Shepherd. Unity donned the feather mechanisms which expanded during takeoff and contracted upon landing and was propelled by a twin-fuselage carrier aircraft, called VMS Eve. New Shepherd is, however, similar to a traditional rocket.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX commercial launch to the ISS
Visionary SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was the first to win the title of launching humans into space, surpassing the plans of aerospace company Boeing. For the first time in more than 10 years, Musk’s SpaceX rocket has delivered US astronauts to NASA’s International Space Station, although the company has yet to deliver its efforts on the space tourism front. SpaceX, however, has announced that it will send a rocket for a 10-day trip with astronauts who each paid $ 55 million.
Tesla CEO has reached deal with private spaceflight specialist Axiom Space for four such missions [Ax-1, Ax-2, Ax-3, and Ax-4] aboard the Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon capsule. Although SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission funded by US billionaire Jared Isaacman will establish the Musk Company’s entry into commercial space tourism.
“As a historic journey awaits us into space, I hope this mission will strengthen how far inspiration can take us and the extraordinary achievements it takes here on Earth.” – Jared Isaacman, Inspiration4 Commander pic.twitter.com/y41tsFJzNu
– Inspiration4 (@ inspiration4x) February 1, 2021
Unlike Virgin Galactic and New Shepherd, Inspiration4 will be a multi-day orbital flight aboard a modified version of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule equipped with a giant observation dome. Musk also plans to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, eight passengers and one or two crew members on a lunar journey aboard the Starship rocket. Musk’s space travel plans are expected to be implemented around 2023, however.