- Title: A look at Branson, Bezos, Musk and the race to space
- Date: 18th July 2021
- Summary: HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF SPACEX HEADQUARTERS MOJAVE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VIRGIN GALACTIC HANGAR COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES (FILE - APRIL 5, 2017) (REUTERS) BEZOS STANDING NEXT TO BLUE ORIGIN CREW CAPSULE MOCKUP AND NEW SHEPARD ROCKET BOOSTER
- 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: LVA00CEM3Y6H3
- 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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