The battle of the giants between Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and British entrepreneur Richard Branson: It’s a battle of which one goes to space first.
Blue Origin vs. Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos vs. Richard Branson: Two billionaires want to go into weightlessness through their space ventures – and ideally before each other. In May 2021, Jeff Bezos announced that he would launch a manned flight into space for the first time with his New Shepard rocket on July 20, the anniversary of the first moon landing. That same month, VSS Unity Branson successfully completed its third test flight with two pilots.
Virgin Galactic: CEO Richard Branson wants to go to space on July 11
While another test flight was initially planned without Branson, the entrepreneur must now join in on the next mission, which will also be broadcast live. The company announced on Virgin Galactic’s official website that it is aiming for a flight with the billionaire on July 11, nine days before it launches on Blue Origin. The Briton, however, has repeatedly denied in interviews with the Amazon founder, telling CNN that the idea of a race “would be very dangerous”.
I’ve always been a dreamer. My mom taught me to never give up and reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to turn that dream into reality on the next ship @galactic virgin space flights https://t.co/x0ksfnuEQ3 # unit 22 pic.twitter.com/GWskcMSXyA
Richard Branson July 1, 2021
Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson: They launched their space missions differently
In addition to Branson, two pilots and three members of the Virgin Galactic team will embark on Mission Unity 22, the company announced. Among other things, they want to test the experience of a space tourist with a full crew. In addition to the crew, Jeff Bezos plans to include his brother, an auctioneer, and 82-year-old Wally Funk, a former American pilot, as additional passengers for his flight.
With her flight, the 82-year-old woman will replace the oldest person in space, John Glenn, who was still a member of the space shuttle mission in 1998 at the age of 77. According to a report from Texas Monthly, Funk had already booked a ticket for a space flight with Branson years ago — and even if he’s already flying just before Bezos, she’ll be boarding New Shepard days later.
Bezos’ Blue Origin Journey: Later But Beyond Virgin Galactic
The Washington Post said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith wished Branson all the best with his venture. However, he could not resist some of the criticism against the competition: he asserted that Virgin Galactic’s VSS unit would move far from Earth less than New Shepard. “You’re not flying over the Karman streak, and that’s a completely different experience,” Smith said – so Bezos should still be triumphant here.