March 31, 2023

Celebrating Excellence & Integrity


Things you Need To Know about Billionaire Space Race

Posted By Godwin Onyemaechi

Richard Branson making it to the edge of space nine days ahead of world’s richest man Jeff Bezos was probably a move that caught many unawares.

The 70-year-old Virgin Group founder on July 11 fulfilled his age-long desire with five crew mates from his Virgin Galactic space-tourism company to reach an altitude of 53.5 miles (86 kilometers) over the New Mexico desert which was enough to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness and witness the curvature of the Earth.

Bezos will on July 20 ride his own Blue Origin rocket into space from Texas during the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

Another chief rival in the space-tourism race among the world’s richest men is SpaceX’s Elon Musk who has not committed himself to going into space anytime soon.

The trio was known to engage in bickering on social media and throwing of jabs during interviews over who is making a better attempt.

Bezos and Musk however congratulated Branson after his Sunday stride.
[7/14, 08:10] : Other billionaires who appear to be gunning for space include Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg; Bigelow Aerospace founder, Robert Bigelow; Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen; Canadian film director, James Cameron and Moon Express founder, Naveen Jain.
[7/14, 08:13] : Below are facts about the Billionaire Space Race:

•Bezos on July 20 plans to travel farther from Earth’s surface than Branson who only reached the edge of space.

• Bezos will be accompanied by a fellow space tourist who paid $28 million for a seat on the spaceflight.

• A widely shared petition asking for Bezos to not be allowed to return to Earth has gathered more than 150,000 signatures.

• Branson’s Virgin Galactic has announced its plans to commence commercial service to space in 2022.

• Virgin Galactic has reportedly already sold more than 600 tickets for between $200,000 and $250,000 each.

• $500 million being the amount of stock Virgin Galactic filed to sell to investors Monday morning fell more than 10% within minutes of the announcement, reversing premarket gains of nearly 5%.

• Musk’s SpaceX has since been chosen as the sole company that will create spacecraft for NASA’s upcoming Artemis mission to send astronauts back to the Moon, beating out Bezos’ Blue Origin for the contract.

• The shift to privatisation hasn’t just put billionaire’s companies at the forefront of scientific achievements as it has accelerated the push for space tourism programs, which for now come with price tags solely restricted to the ultrawealthy.

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