Days after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he was going to rocket into space, there is speculation that Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson will be trying to beat him to the final frontier.
The “Today” show called it the billionaire space race.
The morning show reported that both Bezos’ Blue Origin and Branson’s Virgin Galactic have launched successful missions to eventually take tourists into space.
Blue Origin will take six passengers to the edge of the atmosphere on a remote controlled capsule for a 3-minute weightless experience.
Virgin Galactic will have multiple ships which also carry six people but are flown by pilots.
Bezos said he will launch on July 20, the anniversary of the moon landing.
Despite congratulating Bezos, Branson is said to be eying the July 4 weekend to take his outer space flight, beating Bezos by about two weeks.
The speculation was reported by space blog Parabolic Arc.
Virgin Galactic responded with a statement to the blog:
“We are in the process of analyzing the data from our successful May 22nd flight. As previously announced, we expect to complete the final test flights this summer through to early fall. At this time, we have not determined the date of our next flight. An objective from the last flight was to collect data to be used for the final two verification reports that are required as part of the current FAA commercial reusable spacecraft operator’s license,” a Virgin Galactic spokesperson said.
Regardless of what Virgin Galactic has planned, it still needs the OK from the Federal Aviation Administration, sources told Parabolic Arc, according to Geek Wire.
But Geek Wire reported that talk of Branson’s potential July 4 flight is false, due to existing policies for analyzing test data and assessing flight safety.
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