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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09 2021, @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 DannyB on Wednesday June 09 2021, @07:31PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09 2021, @07:31PM (#1143657) Journal

    There is nothing preventing either Branson or Bezos from achieving orbit. Branson even did it back in January with Virgin Orbit. True, they need to develop heat shields for reuse to happen,

    Heat shields may be necessary if the capsule is to be re-used. But heat shields aren't necessary merely to get a human to orbit in order to win this pissing match. [even though other humans have already been taken to orbit by SpaceX.]

    SpaceShipTwo still needs a working autopilot, and they are both likely to lose a few prototypes in the process, but neither of them have put any effort into those critical steps.

    I'm sure that either Bezos or Branson would be able to inflate the auto pilot without difficulty.

    Losing a prototype doesn't matter as long as you win the pissing match.

    The lower I set my standards the more accomplishments I have.
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