- Title: A look at Branson, Bezos, Musk and the race to space
- Date: 18th July 2021
- Summary: FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES (JULY 7, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MARCO CACERES, SENIOR SPACE ANALYST FOR CONSULTING FIRM TEAL GROUP, WORKING AT HIS DESK (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARCO CACERES, SENIOR SPACE ANALYST FOR CONSULTING FIRM TEAL GROUP, SAYING: "Branson has been trying to do this for the last 10 years and he's had numerous delays, technical delays. He had one accident back in 2014 in which one of the pilots was killed. And so I think, he's 70 years old, I think he wants to see his venture succeed and I think by going up himself, it's a bit of a publicity stunt to some degree, and probably the same thing with Bezos. But I think they're both committed to what they're doing. I think they're serious. And look, each one of them has personalities that are well known. I believe Branson is a little more colorful than Bezos, but I think it's more of a personal race, more than a race of ventures. Both of them have succeeded in many ways. Both of them are far behind SpaceX. But, yeah, I think it's more of a publicity thing." CACERES SEEN THROUGH CAMERA VIEWFINDER (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARCO CACERES, SENIOR SPACE ANALYST FOR CONSULTING FIRM TEAL GROUP, SAYING: "In many ways, Musk has already won it because he has launched countless missions over the last five to six years. I believe in the last few years he's been launching more than 20 missions to Earth orbit, not lower, not sub-orbit. And I believe he's planning to launch up to 40 missions just this year alone. So in terms of the race to Earth orbit, by far he's the winner. He kind of skipped over the sub orbit race because the orbital segment of the industry, of the market, is much more lucrative. Between the remaining two, you know, it's hard to say, but in some ways, Branson has already won because he has already launched suborbital missions that are piloted and Mr. Bezos has not. This will be the first mission in which he sends humans to suborbit."
- Embargoed: 1st August 2021 15:12
- Keywords: Elon Musk Jeff Bezos Richard Branson space tourism
- Location: FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, MOJAVE AND HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON, DC, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA AND NEAR VAN HORN, TEXAS, UNITED STATES/ INTERNET/IN SPACE
- City: FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, MOJAVE AND HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA, WASHINGTON, DC, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA AND NEAR VAN HORN, TEXAS, UNITED STATES/ INTERNET/IN SPACE
- Country: USA
- Topics: Science,Space Exploration,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA003EM3Y6H3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: THIS EDIT PREVIOUSLY RAN AS STORY NUMBER 5062. THE INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BEFORE RICHARD BRANSON MADE HIS SUCCESSFUL TRIP TO SPACE. THE SCRIPT HAS BEEN UPDATED
Jeff Bezos may have been beaten to space by rival Richard Branson, but the billionaire American businessman is poised to make history next week aboard what would be the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight with an all-civilian crew.
Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon.com Inc, is due to be part of a four-person crew for a planned 11-minute ride to the edge of space on Tuesday (July 20) inside his company Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft, another milestone in the nascent and potentially lucrative space tourism sector.
Branson, the British billionaire businessman, was aboard his company Virgin Galactic's rocket plane for its pioneering suborbital flight from New Mexico earlier in July. The Virgin Galactic flight included two pilots, as well as the company's chief astronaut instructor and its lead operations engineer.
Billionaire businessman Elon Musk's space transportation company SpaceX is planning an even-more-ambitious mission in September, sending an all-civilian crew for a several-day orbital flight aboard its Crew Dragon capsule.
Marco Caceres, a senior space analyst for the Virginia-based consulting firm Teal Group, said both the Branson and Bezos ride-alongs were each "a bit of a publicity stunt."
SpaceX, Caceres said, is way out ahead, with ambitions far beyond the few minutes of weightlessness the other two are offering.
"Ultimately, what they want to do is launch people to Mars," he said. "That is the most ambitious of all these three ventures. The other two are seeking to focus on space tourism, taking passengers to low earth orbit for a few minutes of microgravity time and then taking them back to Earth. So much less ambitious."
(Production: Kevin Fogarty, Jane Ross)
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