Two billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezo have blasted off into space in a competitive race, indicating the new beginning towards space tourism.
Everyone has dreamt of going to space and seeing the great wonders above that one can’t even imagine living on earth. Currently, space travel and tourism are now becoming a reality for many, especially if you are rich.
Recently, Sir Richard Branson successfully turned himself into an astronaut at the ripe age of 70 and reaching the space with a Virgin Galactic spacecraft. The journey has granted insights into how the space economy is developing, and sets on a bright future ahead.
Jeff Benzo is also attempting to reach the edge of space in a Blue Origin Space, however, his spotlight was shifted to Branson’s victorious flight, as it not only represents a triumph between competition between billionaires, but also points at a new era that includes open space travel for non-government based programs, and also an opportunity for non-astronauts to venture into space and explore it.
After Brandon’s achievement, Virgin Galactic anticipates launching commercial flights to suborbital space the following year. The firm has sold an approximated 600 tickets, with each ticket costing $250,000. Many of the spacecraft’s passengers include famous icons and celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, and the well-known Elon Musk.
Branson shared his experience of going into space, “I have wanted to do this since I was a child, but honestly, nothing could prepare you for the view of Earth from space.” Branson not only owns it but also has successfully marketed Virgin Galactic and has created abundant opportunities for its future and demand.
Jeff Benzos is not far behind as considered the world’s richest man, he continues to get a strong place in the commercial space market with his company, Blue Origin. Benzo is also responsible for boosting the space economy as Blue Origin aim’s to build infrastructure in space and support NASA’s return to the moon, similar to like SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space firm.
Why private firms are succeeding in space?
In the past, space has been a region that was completely under the commands of respective military or governments according to their space agencies, such as NASA and Russia’s Roscosmos. However, in current times there’s a drastic shift that has changed space by more involvement of private companies due to their hardware and supplies in space.
NASA also opts for private companies for hardware and supplies to help decrease expenses and encourage innovation. The United States space agency is gaining advantages from all its efforts due to commercial crew and cargo programs.
SpaceX has triumphantly started three different astronaut missions into space, reducing the expense of space travel by millions of dollars. Currently, a seat on the Crew Dragon capsule costs NASA an approximated $55m against the previous $90m NASA was spending per seat to Roscosmos for a ride on the Soyuz.
There are three major billionaires in the headline, Musk, Bezos, and Branson as the dominant players in the commercial space market, however, this sector was initiated by Peter Diamandis, who started his first thriving space firm called the X prize in the 1990s, and space travel has never been the same since.
The current competition is not only between rival space firms and billionaires but also the race to get more customers on the commercial space flight market.
On July 9, Blue Origin took the platform of Twitter to highlight the differences between their spacecraft and Virgin Galactic, and highlight the bigger windows and altitude and flight tests differences.
Retired NASA astronaut Tom Jones shared his views on the designs of both the crafts attesting that both of them have their own advantages. In his statement to Al Jazeera, he says, “Perhaps the simpler capsule design is cheaper to develop and fly than a spaceplane, but the spaceplane may be able to fly more frequently, since it doesn’t require parachutes, but relies on a runway.”
Instead of taking on his competitor’s way, Bezos chose Instagram to praise Branson and his team after their successful landing, saying “congratulations on the flight. Can’t wait to join the club!”
The future for space looks bright for private firms, and space tourism, as FAA passed their final approval for Blue Origin to carry humans into space on its New Shephard launch system. If all things go by plan, humans are set to launch off towards a future that consists of visiting space and getting a chance to see it with their own eyes.