Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson is planning to beat Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos into space by 9 days after asserting plans to be Astronaut 001 on the agency’s July 11 check flight.
Bezos had already introduced in June that he can be heading to space on July 20 alongside his brother on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spacecraft, however Branson now seems to have him beat by 9 days.
Branson appeared in a Twitter video to announce his journey on Thursday, and launched himself as ‘Astronaut 001.’
He mentioned: ‘I’ll be evaluating the client spaceflight expertise. As the Virgin Galactic founder I’m so proud to have this outstanding crew of mission specialists and pilots by my facet as we fly to space.
‘I’ve at all times been a dreamer, my mum taught me by no means to hand over and attain for the celebrities.
‘This July, that dream will turn out to be a actuality, and we’re actually excited to share with you all, and once we return I’ll announce one thing very thrilling to extra individuals an opportunity to turn out to be astronauts, as a result of space belongs to us all. So watch this space.’
‘After greater than 16 years of analysis, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands on the vanguard of a brand new industrial space business, which is about to open space to humankind and alter the world for good,’ Branson mentioned in an announcement.
Richard Branson might be heading to space on a July 11 Virgin Galactic spaceflight
Virgin Galactic´s Richard Branson is planning to beat Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos being the primary to blast off into space on their July 11 flight. Branson is pictured in 2019
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, piloted by CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay, is launched from its mothership, VMS Eve, on the best way to its first spaceflight after launch from Spaceport America, New Mexico in May
A photograph exhibits the discharge of VSS Unity from VMS Eve and ignition of rocket motor over Spaceport America, New Mexico
‘I’m honored to assist validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and guarantee we ship the distinctive buyer expertise individuals count on from Virgin.’
It might be Virgin Galactic’s fourth check spaceflight and the primary mission with a crew of 4 on board.
Branson might be taking off alongside Chief astronaut teacher Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut teacher who flew to space on the corporate’s second spaceflight mission.
Colin Bennett, the corporate’s lead operations engineer, can even be part of the flight. He might be Astronaut 003.
Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s vice chairman of presidency affairs and analysis operations can even be on board as Astronaut 004.
Bezos had already introduced in June that he can be heading to space on July 20 alongside his brother on Blue Origin’s New Shepherd spacecraft, however Branson now seems to have him beat by 9 days
This month’s Unity 22 mission would be the twenty second flight check for rocket aircraft VSS Unity and the corporate’s fourth crewed spaceflight.
The fundamental aims of the subsequent check flight, taking off from Virgin Galactic’s spaceport in New Mexico, might be ‘evaluating… seat consolation, the weightless expertise and the views of Earth’ in the space cabin.
The firm mentioned it additionally desires to reveal the situations for conducting human-tended analysis experiments and make sure the coaching program at Spaceport America helps the spaceflight expertise.
Speaking forward of his upcoming space flight, Sir Richard mentioned: ‘I really imagine that space belongs to all of us.
‘It’s one factor to have a dream of creating space extra accessible to all; it is one other for an unbelievable staff to collectively flip that dream into actuality.’
Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut teacher, who flew to space on the corporate’s second spaceflight mission might be on board
Colin Bennett, the corporate’s lead operations engineer, can even be part of the flight
Sirisha Bandla, Virgin Galactic’s vice chairman of presidency affairs and analysis operations
Dave Mackay might be piloting the Virgin Galactic spacecraft
Addressing the advantages of Branson embarking on the subsequent space flight, Michael Colglazier, chief government officer of Virgin Galactic, mentioned: ‘Our subsequent flight – the twenty second flight check for VSS Unity and our first absolutely crewed flight check – is a testomony to the dedication and technical brilliance of our complete staff, and I’d like to prolong a particular thanks to our pilots and mission specialists, every of whom might be performing necessary work.
‘Tapping into Sir Richard’s experience and lengthy historical past of making wonderful buyer experiences might be invaluable as we work to open the marvel of space journey and create awe-inspiring journeys for our prospects.’
Virgin Galactic plans three extra check flights to the sting of space this summer time and early fall, earlier than launching with prospects
Virgin Galactic plans three extra check flights to the sting of space this summer time and early fall, earlier than launching with prospects.
The firm had initially put Branson on the second upcoming flight, however has now moved him up to the subsequent one in order to beat Bezos blasting off.
Branson acknowledged it is ‘essential’ for potential prospects to see him strap in for a experience, earlier than opening the doorways to the paying public.
The thrill-seeking adventurer, who turns 71 in a number of weeks, mentioned he is ‘not apprehensive in any respect’ about launching into space.
‘It’s a dream of a lifetime,’ he mentioned.
Last week, Virgin Galactic obtained the Federal Aviation Administration’s OK to begin launching prospects
Last week, Virgin Galactic obtained the Federal Aviation Administration’s OK to begin launching prospects.
More than 600 individuals have already got reserved a experience to space. Tickets initially price $250,000, however the worth is anticipated to go up as soon as the corporate begins accepting reservations once more.
Virgin Galactic made its third flight to space in May, with two pilots in the cockpit of the winged spaceship.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is focusing on July 20 for his rocket firm’s first launch with individuals. The Blue Origin flight from West Texas will embody Bezos, his brother, a charity public sale winner who’s shelling out $28 million and a fourth unidentified individual.
Unlike Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are trying to ship space vacationers on temporary up-and-down hops – not into orbit around the globe.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is focusing on July 20 for his rocket firm’s first launch with individuals
Participants benefit from the Blue Origin Space Simulator in June 2019. An unnamed bidder paid $28 million at public sale on June 12, 2021, for a seat on board the primary crewed spaceflight of Jeff Bezos’ firm Blue Origin on July 20
Bezos plans to blast into space from West Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon touchdown
THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE: HOW BRANSON, MUSK AND BEZOS ARE VYING FOR GALACTIC SUPREMACY
Jeff Bezos in entrance of Blue Origin’s space capsule
Dubbed the ‘NewSpace’ set, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk all say they have been impressed by the primary moon touchdown in 1969, when the US beat the Soviet Union in the space race, and there’s no doubt how a lot it might imply to every of them to win the ‘new space race’.
Amazon founder Bezos appears to be like set to be the primary of the three to fly to space, having introduced plans to launch aboard his space firm Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on July 20.
The billionaire mogul will journey along with his youthful brother Mark, a former promoting government and volunteer firefighter, and the winner of Saturday’s multi-million pound public sale.
However, a report has urged Branson may beat him to it, by making a suborbital flight two weeks earlier than Bezos and his brother. The suggestion is the Virgin Galactic founder would journey on his VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo rocket aircraft on the July 4 weekend.
Although SpaceX and Tesla founder Musk has mentioned he desires to go into space, and even ‘die on Mars’, he has not mentioned when he may blast into orbit.
SpaceX seems to be main the best way in the broader billionaire space race with quite a few launches carrying NASA tools to the ISS and partnerships to ship vacationers to space by 2021.
On February 6 2018, SpaceX despatched rocket in the direction of the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s personal purple Tesla roadster connected.
Elon Musk along with his Dragon Crew capsule
NASA has already chosen two astronauts who might be on-board the primary manned Dragon mission.
SpaceX has additionally began sending batches of 60 satellites into space to assist type its Starlink community.
Musk hopes it will present an interconnected net of satellites round Earth which can beam down free web to individuals worldwide.
Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a distinct strategy to conquering space. It has repeatedly, and efficiently, performed check flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity space aircraft.
The first came about in December 2018 and the most recent on May 22, with the flight accelerating to greater than 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7).
More than 600 prosperous prospects to date, together with celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on considered one of Virgin’s space journeys.
Branson has beforehand mentioned he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars along with his personal rocket agency SpaceX.
Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft
SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger will get the identical seating place with two giant home windows – one to the facet and one overhead.
The space ship is 60ft lengthy with a 90inch diameter cabin permitting most room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.
It climbs to 50,000ft earlier than the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its service craft, White Knight II, as soon as it has handed the 50-mile mark.
Passengers turn out to be ‘astronauts’ once they attain the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s environment.
The spaceship will then make a suborbital journey with roughly six minutes of weightlessness, with the whole flight lasting roughly 1.5 hours.
Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he funds Blue Origin with round $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon inventory every year.
The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.
Bezos is without doubt one of the richest males in the world and Blue Origin has efficiently flown the New Shepard rocket 15 instances.
At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), simply above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff.