Scheduled for July 11, the adventure will begin broadcasting at 9 a.m. on the US East Coast, at 2 p.m. on mainland Portugal. The adventure can be followed online and streamed from the Virgin Galatic website.
Everything indicates that Richard Branson sought to bypass billionaire Jeff Bezos, who planned a space flight to July 20. Competition or not, what is certain is that it represents another historical moment, and a relevant step towards tourist travel into space.
Now 70, the billionaire joins a six-man crew of Unity 22 to depart today, for Spaceport America, New Mexico, in Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo.
“I’ve always been a dreamer. My mother taught me to never give up and reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to make that dream a reality aboard Virgin Galactic’s next flight,” Richard Branson said in the video as he announced the news.
If everything goes according to plan, then Richard Branson will be ahead of rival Jeff Bezos, but the latter can win in one detail: height. The Virgin Galactic spacecraft is expected to reach 90 kilometers, while the New Shepard spacecraft from Blue Origin is expected to reach 106 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.
task to follow
Virgin Galactic has not yet released the mission’s main flight timestamps. It is known that it will depart this morning in New Mexico, and that the VSS Unity will be carried from an aircraft carrier, an aircraft known as the VMS Eve. And when it reaches an altitude of about 15 km, Eve will release unity. From there the space plane will make its way into space.
Based on previous unit flights, the Sunday mission could take about 90 minutes in total, but only 4 minutes in space, where it will attempt to cross the Karman Line, the location that separates Earth from space. After completing their mission, the two planes returned to Earth to land at Spaceport America.
Jeff Bezos and the 52 years since man reached the moon
The Amazon chief had scheduled his first manned flight with his New Shepard rocket for July 20, the day that coincides with the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landings. Jeff Bezos took the moon with him. his brother Mark, the unidentified who paid $28 million for the “ticket” at auction; Wally Funk, the aviation pioneer who at age 82 will be the oldest person to go into space.
At the age of 57, after leaving his leadership position at Amazon, Jeff Bezos wants to make his name in the history of space travel, which promises to be one of the profitable companies of the future.
The Blue Origin mission also differs from the Virgin Galactic mission in the way the crew is sent into space and back to Earth.
An Instagram post reveals Jeff Bezos’ passion for space.
The Financial Times explains the difference between the two tasks in the charts. Click on the pictures to see more details.