The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos stated he’s going to house subsequent month on a New Shepard rocket made by his personal house firm, Blue Origin. The rocket has by no means been examined with a pilot on board, so Bezos is taking an actual threat by providing to be its first passenger.
The journey is scheduled for July 20, two weeks after Bezos is about to step down as Amazon CEO. If all goes in keeping with the plan, Bezos would be the first billionaire house entrepreneur to experience on his personal firm’s spaceship.
However that would change within the subsequent few weeks.
Shortly after Bezos’s daring announcement, the house information weblog Parabolic Arc reported, citing an nameless supply, that Virgin Galactic is engaged on a check flight for the July 4 weekend to ship its founder Richard Branson to house earlier than Bezos.
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity SpaceShipTwo rocket aircraft has been examined with passengers a couple of occasions. It accomplished the newest check flight in Might with two pilots on board.
A Virgin Galactic spokesman advised the weblog, “We anticipate to finish the ultimate check flights this summer season via to early fall. At the moment, now we have not decided the date of our subsequent flight.”
The Parabolic Arc report famous that the check flight is contingent upon acquiring an operator’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). However aviation coverage consultants say Virgin Galactic may bypass regulatory hurdles by assigning him as a crew member slightly than a “spaceflight participant.”
“For my part, there may be nothing stopping Richard Branson from additionally flying as a member of the flight crew,” George Nield, a former affiliate administrator of the FAA, the place he led its Workplace of Industrial House Transportation, advised the New York Submit. “He’s an worker of the corporate, and so they can assign him no matter duties they wish to. That’s not one thing the FAA will get concerned in. That’s as much as the corporate.”
Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic provide a really comparable “house trip” bundle that features a brief flight to and from the sting of Earth’s environment, the place passengers can take pleasure in a panoramic view of Earth’s curvature and some minutes of weightlessness throughout descent.
Bezos will probably be flying along with his youthful brother, Mark Bezos, and the winner of an ongoing public sale for a seat on the flight. The public sale ends on Saturday, June 12. The best bid has reached $4 million at press time.