This week, after years of being considered a supporting character in the private space raceRichard Branson became one of the league’s most sought-after players. Elon Musk was enthusiastic about his successful – though also controversial – test flight and booked a ticket to travel into space.
In what many consider to be a setback to Jeff Bezos, it seems Musk bought a ticket to fly aboard the SpaceShipTwo, one of Virgin Galactic’s ships.
To seal this gentlemen’s agreement, the mogul also met with Branson prior to his trip, confirming the good relationship that exists between both space millionaires.
The two businessmen have expressed their mutual support in space ventures. Even the founder of SpaceX was present during the launch on Sunday.
Virgin Galactic was in charge of pointing out that he had no extra privilege and that the invitation to Musk, who saw the flight from a VIP section of Spaceport America, said a Virgin spokesman, Barney Gimbel. “This is all that Richard is inviting him to. They are friends,” he said.
The great news is that Musk is now also part of the list of approximately 600 people waiting to fly to the edge of space aboard the Virgin Galactic spacecraft.
Every ticket has been valued at $ 250,000 and many celebrities are on this list, including Leonardo DiCaprio and also, Lady Gaga and Tom Hanks are among those interested.
Richard Branson, the third millionaire with space aspirations. Photo EFE.
As for SpaceX, its first commercial mission of private astronauts take place in September, reaching orbit, unlike Virgin and Blue Origin trips.
Of the three companies competing for space tourism services, Virgin Galactic is the only one with the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration to officially start business trips.
Third in discord
The character who was excluded from the circle is none other than Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, who started an absurd dispute between billionaires to show that their technology far outperforms Bronson’s.
Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, in the private space race. AFP photo
Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc’s vehicle, which takes off like a space shuttle, cannot exceed 85 kilometers, while the Blue Origin rocket and capsule can exceed 100 kilometers.
This last altitude It is the threshold of the so-called Kármán line that delimits space, although the United States government, including NASA, considers that space is above 120 kilometers.
For this reason, Bezos, who considers that his rival brought forward the date to take away the honor of being the first space tourist of the new era – Dennis Tito already traveled in 2000, although he did so in a Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft to the International Space Station – and for this reason he seeks to disqualify him.
Since his offensive attitude did not win the favor of the public, Bezos adopted a more conciliatory tone and sent a congratulatory message to Branson and the Virgin Galactic crew.
The Amazon founder intends to fly into space aboard New Shepard on July 20, a date that Branson replaced with a surprise announcement on July 1, a week before his 71st birthday.