In the media frenzy that accompanied Richard Branson’s space test flight on Sunday, no mention was made of the blatant carbon costs of the new tourism. Branson tried to dodge climate criticism by admitting that on a flight from London to New York each seat consumes the equivalent of a business seat, and that he offsets the emissions. What he didn’t say was that a round-trip flight from New York to London consumes six tons of CO2 per person, three times as much as an economy seat.
It also failed to mention the worst possible impact of space tourism on the super-elite. Back on Earth, space enthusiasts saw this short journey as the fulfillment of decades of promises and the beginning of a new era of space tourism.
Virgin Galactic flew its first paying customer on Tuesday on a flight with 18-year-old Oliver Daeman, the son of a Dutch Private Equity manager and youngest person to fly into space, but the company has not yet provided seat prices or additional details about its commercial operations. It plans to complete two more test flights before flying paying customers into space next year. It’s a good day for Blue Origin to begin flying commercial passengers, but whether anyone will be able to pay a low six-figure sum for a 10-minute vacation is unclear.
Two more crewed flights are planned for the end of the year, with wealthy customers competing in auctions for the right to ride-sharing, with prices likely to run into the millions.
Bezos has invested billions of his own money in Blue Origin, and the company just auctioned space tickets on one of its rockets for $28 million. Sir Richard Branson, who launched Bezos nine days ago on his Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spacecraft into space, is still unclear when his company will start canceled commercial flights. On July 11, Branson’s billionaire mate, the founder of Virgin Galactic, hit the space travel edge as he pushed a 90-minute trip in one of his company’s planes with five other passengers.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, set off on an 11-minute supersonic journey into space on a rocket developed by his space firm Blue Origin on Tuesday morning. They included Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, the 82-year-old pilot of one of the Mercury 13 women who trained in the 20th century as a space pilot but never permitted to fly and an 18-year-old high school graduate called Oliver Daeman who was the first paying customer of Blue Origins and the father of an investor who bought his ticket. Like Funk, Daeman will be the oldest of the young people to travel into space.
The flight marked the first manned mission of Blue Origins’ new Suborbital Space Tourism Rocket Shepard which the company hopes will take affluent thrill-seekers on a fun ride in the coming months and years. Bezos is the second billionaire in space after the Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson took to the skies earlier this month with his own rocket plane. The Shepard rocket, which is operated by the Blue Origin company of Bezos, sprang from the company’s launch site in one of the small West Texas towns of Van Horn and flew more than 60 miles up in the air.
Bezos said the capsule touched down on the desert floor of remote West Texas about ten minutes after the flight. The new Shepard rocket was named after America’s first astronaut, Blue Origin, and soared on the 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing – a date chosen by Bezos because of its historical significance. Bezos held onto the rocket as Virgin Galactics boss Richard Branson pushed ahead with his own flight to New Mexico, beating Bezos into space by nine days.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon Space Tourism Blue Origin, with his brother Mark for a photo in front of Amazon’s new Shepard rocket in a derby before its launch at the Van Horn spaceport in Texas, radioed on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. VAN HORN, Texas – Jeff Bezos flew his rocket into space for the first time with people on board Tuesday, becoming the second billionaire this week to fly in his own spaceship.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos flew into space on a rocket from his Space Company Blue Origin accompanied by three other space tourists to join a small but growing number of people who are not trained astronauts. The voyage heralds the age of civil space tourism, at least for now, and with it the wealthy.
Although suborbital flights are not Blue Origin’s goal, the company plans to build a family of larger rockets to carry cargo, satellites and humans into orbit, creating an ecosystem that will enable millions of people to live and work in space. Gratifications of the liquid hydrogen and carbon produced will be minimal, but the cost of transporting materials will be a problem. Even though Virgin Galactic has taken Blue Origin to the extreme, SpaceX is still well ahead of in private space exploration. The first billionaires in space are excited about the feeling of one day seeing Earth from a distance of 85 km and can afford up to 250,000 US dollars for a one-hour journey.
The Karman line was taken over by the Swiss Air Sports Federation and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in order to determine activities that are aerial or astronautical. The Federal Aviation Administration agreed, approving a commercial space license last week.