Virgin Galactic: Billionaire Richard Branson travels to the door of space with his own ship

Virgin Galactic: Billionaire Richard Branson travels to the door of space with his own ship  Science


To the British billionaire Richard Branson they asked him inside television show of 1988 if he ever thought of traveling into space. Branson, who got rich on his Virgin Records label with bands like Sex Pistols and the Rolling StonesHe was thoughtful and addressed a person in the audience who asked him a question. “I’d like to go into space.” I don’t think there could be anything better. So if you build a spaceship, I’d like to go with you, “he replied with a laugh. More than three decades later, 70-year-old Branson fulfilled his dream and traveled in a spaceship built by a company he founded in 2004: Virgin galactic. It is the twenty-second test flight of the facility, the fourth crew with a crew and the first with a full pass. The company’s goal is to make space tourism easier for those who can pay for it.

The facility took off this Sunday at 9:25 (17.25 Spanish Peninsula Time) from the parent plane, which again took off from Spaceport America, in New Mexico (USA). There were two pilots on board, Branson himself and three other crew members, all of whom were Virgin Galactic employees. Ship christened Unity (Unit) on proposal British physicist Stephen Hawking, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration, is designed to reach a height of more than 80 kilometers, the boundary between the atmosphere and space. advanced nine days also billionaire Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who is planning a similar trip andl July 20 with its own airline Blue Origin.

The competition between the two magnates is fierce. Bezosova society suggested this Friday that what Virgin Galactic offers are not spaceflight because they do not reach the call Karman line, an altitude of 100 kilometers was considered the gateway to space by international standards. “Only 4% of the planet recognizes the 80-kilometer boundary as the beginning of the universe,” said Blue Origin. in their social networks. Branson’s vessel requires a mother plane to take off, while Bezos’s apparatus does vertical takeoff and landing rocket, able to reach the 100-kilometer barrier.

Branson issues bombastic announcements of upcoming performances that have never arrived for more than 15 years. In the year 2004 declared that it will travel into space in 2007 and that by 2009 there will be more than 3,000 new astronauts. He declared it in 2013 singer justin bieber he would also fly into space. On October 31, 2014, Branson experienced a real estate bath when one of his experimental ships suffered an accident in the Mojave Desert (USA) and caused the death of co-pilot Michael Alsbury. Pilot Peter Siebold was seriously injured. The investigation concluded that the event was caused by a combination of human error and poor security measures.

Millionaire Richard Branson smiles aboard the Virgin Galactic ship.PANNA GALAKTICKÁ / Reuters

Richard Branson is an extravagant billionaire who one morning disguised as Che Guevara sell products from one of his companies Virgin Mobile and the next day you buy a caribbean island, Necker (British Virgin Islands) to establish a residence here and pay lower taxes. The founder of the Virgin group of companies ensures that Virgin Galactic’s intention is to “open the space for everyone”, even though each ticket will in principle cost about $ 250,000 (about 210,000 euros), in a flight of only an hour and a half, when passengers can enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the curvature of the earth’s surface.

Pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, engineer Sirisha Bandla, astronaut instructor Beth Moses and engineer Colin Bennett traveled with Branson this Sunday. “Our dream is that one day everyone can go on a journey into space.” Moses declared.

The first space tourist was American billionaire Dennis Tito, who paid about $ 20 million to get on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and spend several days in 2001 in Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station, about 400 kilometers above sea level. The American company Space Adventures has been organized since then another seven trips similar to Titus. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos now offer suborbital travel at less prohibitive rates. The journey on July 20 will be the first Blue Origin mission with a crew, and his brother Mark will be on board with Bezos, veteran aviator Wally Funk and an anonymous space tourist who paid almost 24 million euros for the auction at auction.

The third billionaire in this special space race, South African nationalized American Elon Musk, founder of the space transport company Space X, has ensured that will lead to the moon to Japanese magnate Yusak Maezawa in 2023. Before that, from September 2021, Space X planned a multi-day mission orbiting the Earth with American billionaire Jared Isaacman.

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