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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09, @12:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the competition dept.

Branson may make a last-ditch effort to beat Bezos into space:

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Monday he would fly on the first human spaceflight of his company's New Shepard spacecraft. This mission will launch from Blue Origin's spaceport in West Texas on July 20, which is the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing in 1969.

With this timeline, Bezos seemed almost certain to beat his suborbital space tourism rival, Sir Richard Branson, into space. Setting aside whether Branson's VSS Unity vehicle reaches space—its maximum altitude is just below the Kármán line, or 100 km—this is nonetheless a meaningful milestone.


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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday June 09, @05:00AM (4 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09, @05:00AM (#1143436) Homepage Journal

    Mmmmmm - maybe. China has actually put a payload on Mars, as well as the moon. They're working on a space station. The secretive CCP may have missions planned that I know nothing about.

    India? They orbited the moon, in 2008. 2013, the moon impact probe. 2014 Mars orbiter. Vikram crashed on the moon. They've done lots of satellites, and are planning a mission to Venus. Nothing to indicate that a manned mission is planned anywhere higher than high earth orbit. Please correct me if I'm missing something big there.

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  • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Wednesday June 09, @07:00AM (3 children)

    by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09, @07:00AM (#1143455)

    No I think you're spot on. I largely added India because I have a feeling that they might be at the early stages of an exponential curve of progress, and I see there being a small possibility of China and India teaming up in order to "beat the west". China going alone out of national pride being the more likely in my mind.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday June 09, @02:49PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday June 09, @02:49PM (#1143535) Journal

      I definitely agree with regards to India. India's barely got a Space Agency and they're doing good just to launch their own satellites and/or shoot someone else's down. They also don't seem likely to blow money on a manned Mars mission.

      While China is "secretive" they don't look to be in a position to beat Musk to Mars. At least not without a serious commitment on their part. Why would they commit such massive resources anyway? Better to let Musk scout it out first. At this point, we have no idea what resources are on Mars and it's not terribly likely to be good ROI for your money.

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    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @06:10PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @06:10PM (#1143615)

      China and India teaming up on anything isn't going to happen in our lifetimes, if ever, but I can certainly see a cold-war style space race happening between them. China has a leg up due to Russian assistance but India has long since proven that they can compete when they want to. It would be well worth watching.