Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, is preparing for an 11-minute flight, with a 4,000 km / h launch missile to the edge of space. ‘Red Branson, who surprisingly flew into space with a missile of his own. Despite all the pathos-filled statements of space tycoons, the struggle for primacy in space (denied by the two billionaires) is a good reminder of how far these space flights are not only a “symbol of humanity’s progress and success” but also an ego-saturated status symbol and most of all an economic business Well publicized.
Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the aim of using some of his capital from Amazon to develop missile technology for a variety of business purposes, will make his extraterrestrial journey in the afternoon – just nine days after Branson, owner of Virgin Galactic.
But Bezos’ flight, and the technology his company developed to get it there, is different from Branson’s. The company’s New Shepard missile is a small missile that flies at a lower altitude than the Earth’s satellite orbit. The missile takes off vertically from a launch facility and gives a shorter experience but at a much higher speed than Branson’s Virgin Galactic airborne launch vehicle.
But like the Virgin plane, so is New Shepard Customers are supposed to fly paying tens of miles above the earth and stay for a few moments in “weightlessness” that will allow the four passengers to hover in the cabin, from where they will be able to see panoramic views of the earth in the windows located in it.
To date the New Shepard has already performed 15 automatic test flights without passengers. Following the success of the experiments, Bezos announced in early June that he intended to fly the first manned flight on July 20, the date of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon in 1969.
Our first human flight on Tuesday will be the 16th flight in #NewShepard’s history. Learn about the meticulous & rigorous launch program that brought us to this first step. Watch the launch live on https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr, starting at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC. #NSFirstHumanFlight pic.twitter.com/xWQRYLikZd
– Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 18, 2021
The flight itself has only one paying passenger, an 18-year-old Dutchman, besides him will fly Bezos, his brother and an 82-year-old veteran squadron who has dreamed of flying into space since the 1960s. Beyond the achievement of flying space tourists out of the Earth’s atmosphere, it is a PR flight for everything that will be broadcast live on a designated site, on social networks and of course with quite a few traditional media outlets that will follow every second of the rocket. Bezos’ facial expressions will not be broadcast until after landing. Presumably, to squeeze a few more precious minutes of glory out of this lemon. The flight is expected to depart at 8:00 a.m. (US Eastern Time), as long as the weather allows.
For Bezos, the luxury that will accompany the current flight goes far beyond tourist flights to space. These are a very nice economic channel (and at this point it is not yet clear how the flights will be priced in the future) but Bezos’ ambitions go far beyond space tourism. Bezos stares at Pentagon and NASA government contracts, now controlled by Alon Musk. According to the Wall Street Journal, SpaceX Of Musk obtained contracts worth $ 2.8 billion while Bezos obtained contracts worth less than $ 500 million during that period. The big money is there. Bezos knows it and Musk knows it. The two will direct many efforts there in the coming months and years.
Here’s everything you need to know before the big event.
Who will fly today?
Although the capsule at the top of the missile can carry six people, Bezos takes only three more for this maiden flight: his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Punk, an 82-year-old squadron and one of the Mercury 13 women, and an 18-year-old high school graduate named Oliver Damon.
The mysterious passenger who paid $ 28 million at an auction for a free ticket, announced last week that he was canceling his participation due to “schedule issues”. He was replaced by Daiman, whose father, a Dutch founder of an investment firm named Joss Daiman, paid for his card.
What is supposed to happen on the flight?
Contrary to how many imagine a space flight, Blue Origin space tourists will not orbit the Earth and fly in a spaceship for several days. The Bezos brothers and the two other passengers will ascend into space and descend almost casually. The entire flight from takeoff to landing is expected to take only 11 minutes, a long shower time.
Where will the takeoff take place?
The launch of the New Shepard flight will look very similar to the rest of the spacecraft’s test launches from recent years: the missile and spacecraft will take off from the launch site at the Blue Origin facility in Texas, about 180 kilometers east of El Paso.
– Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 17, 2021
What happens in terms of the route after takeoff?
New Shepard’s flight Reach about three times the speed of sound – about 4,000 km / h – in a vertical trajectory until the missile runs out of most of its fuel. Which will give passengers a feeling of weightlessness for a few minutes.
What are passengers expected to feel?
As long as the missile accelerates upwards, passengers will feel great pressure in the body downwards until the capsule disengages from the missile that returns to Earth. At this point, the feeling will be similar to the weightlessness you feel when you reach the highest point on a roller coaster ride, just before gravity pulls the train – or in the case of Bezos, the spacecraft – quickly back to the ground.
At this point, the spacecraft will develop large parachutes to slow its landing to a speed of less than 28 km / h before hitting the ground.
What happens to the missile after disengagement from the capsule?
The missile, which flies separately after detaching from the passenger-carrying capsule, will re-ignite its engines and use the computers on board to make an accurate landing in a vertical position, just as it was before taking off. Landing with a burner looks similar to what SpaceX does with its Falcon 9 missiles.
What is the difference between the space ambitions of the three billionaires – Bezos, Branson and Musk?
Since Branson announced he was taking off into space thus ruining Bezos’ dream of becoming the first tourist in space, the companies of the two billionaires and their PR machines worked overtime in public exchanges. But low-altitude space tourism is not what Branson and Bezos seek to achieve in their space initiatives. The most important field in the developing space tourism industry.
Lately, many have compared the three billionaires – Branson, Musk and Bezos – because of their space initiatives. But there are many differences between the groups. For years Musk’s SpaceX has been making headlines and breaking records with its missile technology, which is very different from the technology that Blue Origin will introduce in its first manned flight into space.
In general, SpaceX builds missiles in a satellite orbit. Such missiles need to have enough power to reach a speed of 27,000 km / h, which gives the missile enough power to orbit the Earth in a circular orbit instead of being dragged immediately down by gravity. International space and from there back to Earth.
On sub-satellite flights like Bezos and Branson, there is no need to fly so fast. All they need to be considered a “space flight” is to reach the 80-kilometer line about above Earth, this is the line that the US government defines as the “edge of space.” Bezos’ spacecraft will reach the 100-kilometer line that defines the international line “The Edge of Space.”
What the New Shepard spacecraft will do today will be more similar to what Richard Branson did a week ago and plans to do commercially with his company Virgin Galactic in the future. Branson’s company plans to send wealthy tourists for a sub-satellite flight. But there are significant differences between the spacecraft and their flight modes. Instead of an autonomous missile that takes off vertically like that of Bezos, the Virgin Galactic aircraft takes off on a runway when it is connected to a regular plane and at some point in the sky disconnects and accelerates to the edge of space.
Which Is there a risk involved in these flights?
Historically, space flights are fraught with dangers and also some explosions during takeoff, flight and stages of return to Earth. At the same time it is estimated that the risks are not astronomical in the case of Bezos’ jump into space, because his company has spent most of the last decade examining New Shepard in a series of successful flight trials.
Sub-satellite flights need much less power and speed than missiles in a satellite orbit. This means that the missile needs to burn for less time, the temperatures outside it are lower, there is less momentum moving through the body of the missile and in general fewer opportunities for something to go seriously wrong.
However, every time a person “ties” himself to a missile, there are risks. Bezos, however, seems to have done his math and decided the risk is worth it. “Ever since I was five, I’d dreamed of flying into space,” he wrote in a post on his Instagram account last month.