After Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight, another multi-billionaire is heading off our planet. Here’s when and how you can follow up.
after only a week or two, another extremely wealthy man is ready to travel to space. on 20th July, His spaceflight will tie into a rocket manufactured by the company, Blue Origin. With him will be his brother Mark, and an as yet undeclared auction winner on July 20.
The mission is the culmination of nearly two decades of rocket science, with the company officially emerging in 2015 and revealing its reusable rocket, the New Shepard, to the world. After six years and 15 test flights, it is now ready to transport humans to the cosmic shoreline, stare them into infinity and return them safely to Earth. and.
On Monday, the company got past one of its last hurdles,To carry passengers into space.
Here’s when and how you can watch the historic first Crew Blue Origin launch.
How to Watch Jeff Bezos’ Launch on Blue Origin’s New Shepard
The flight is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20, and Blue Origin’s coverage will begin at 4:30 a.m. PT (7:30 a.m. ET). For those who need a little extra sleep in the US West Coast, liftoff is aimed for 6 a.m. PT (9 a.m. ET).
You can watch live on BlueOrigin.com, but if there’s a livestream link, we’ll put it right here for you. Nerdshala Highlights, on YouTube, will also have all the latest and greatest from the western Texas desert, where the launch will take place.
What about other time zones around the world? Here’s when you can catch liftoff:
- Rio de Janeiro: at 10 am
- London: at 2 pm
- Johannesburg: 3 pm
- Moscow: 4 pm
- Dubai: 5 pm
- New Delhi: 6:30 pm
- Beijing: 9 pm
- Tokyo: 10 pm
- Sydney: 11 o’clock
The New Shepard Rocket
Named for Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut to go to space,So far 15 flights have been completed. This is the 16th mission, which is known as NS16.
The rocket has seen two major iterations since it first took off on April 29, 2015, but it will be New Shepard 4 that takes Bezos to the edge of infinity.
Bezos and crew mates, includingTo climb into space, a gumdrop-shaped crew would lie inside a capsule. The pressurized crew capsule boasts the “largest windows in space,” according to Blue Origin, and has enough room for six astronauts. It doesn’t require a pilot – all flight work is done by the onboard computer.
In the event of an emergency, the crew capsule can detach from the booster rocket at any time, deploy a parachute and return safely to Earth. Here’s hoping that such separation is not needed.
The ‘battle’ of billionaires
Billionaire Richard Branson, 70, founder of Virgin Galactic,on 11 July. The headlines said it all: “Branson beats Jeff Bezos in space,” read one in The New York Times.
Both Branson and Bezos are selling the dream of spaceflight to private citizens, attempting to open up a space tourism sector that will enable “everyone” to take short suborbital trips. However, the trips are not cheap. Tickets for Virgin Galactic’s space plane cost $250,000 before sales were suspended after a crash in 2014. According to The New York Times, when sales resume, they could be more expensive. It’s unclear how much a ticket aboard Blue Origin’s rocket will cost at this time, but a seat sold for $28 million at auction.
The tagline of many space tourism missions is about opening up space access to everyone, but six- and seven-digit ticket prices aren’t exactly within the realm of your everyday space fan. It remains to be seen how these prices will fluctuate.
While a short fight and space tourism are front and center in coverage of the Branson and Bezos flights, there are opportunities for science as well. Both companies will provide scientists with the opportunity to carry payloads on flights, with Blue Origin allowing astronauts to conduct experiments in microgravity in real time. New experiment techniques could be developed in suborbital space before being sent to the International Space Station for long-duration tests.
But perhaps before we get there, we need to answer a more pressing question. It’s one that Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have had to wrestle with this week: Where does space begin?
Space or the edge of space?
Some billionaires are disputing where, exactly, space begins. This is why you’ve heard Branson’s flight described almost interchangeably as reaching “the edge of space” or “the edge of space”—where Earth’s atmosphere “ends” and space itself begins. is not defined.
The US Federal Aviation Administration grants astronaut wings to anyone flying above 50 miles (about 80 kilometers). Some scientists have argued that this is quite justified based on the distance at which, and NASA uses a similar number when defining where the location for a crewed mission begins. Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight saw him reach an altitude of about 53 miles, so he got his wings.
But that’s not necessarily where “space” begins, according to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The FAI’s Astronautic Records Commission, which “evaluates and administers manned spaceflight record activities,” uses something known as the Karman Line to define space launches.
That “line” sits about 62 miles (100 kilometers) up. But the FAI’s descriptor is not legally binding, and claimed space should begin even further – at 1.5 million kilometers! With the FAA and NASA saying one thing and the FAI saying another… it all gets a little messy.
The discrepancy means that Branson’s flight into space is seen by some as requiring an asterisk. Blue Origin took a thinly veiled swipe at Galactic Flight on Twitter. “The New Shepard was designed to fly over the Carman line, so none of our astronauts have an asterisk next to their name,” the company tweeted.
What does all this mean? Well, Bezos and his crew are definitely going to “space,” as defined by crossing the Karman line — and Blue Origin is willing to make a big fuss about it. does it really matter? No. Is this an extremely spicy and pointless discussion for the purposes of space tourism? Maybe.
As far as Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic can go with space tourism, another company has even more ambitious plans for 2021: Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
That’s right, there’s another extremely rich man who also has space. SpaceX honored with chief? Yes, SpaceX has plans to take private citizens out into the universe too – and far farther than Branson or Bezos will be able to achieve with their spacecraft. A Moon mission, scheduled for 2023, will , making a small loop around our natural satellite before returning.
Another mission, with a very close date of departure, will take. It is planned to launch before the end of 2021 on a multi-day voyage with a custom flight path.