Blue Origin throws shade at Virgin Galactic before Richard Branson's flight


Engadget 10 July, 2021 - 08:34am 25 views

When is Richard Branson flying to space?

Virgin Galactic may finally send Richard Branson to space on 11 July. New ScientistVirgin Galactic may finally send Richard Branson to space on 11 July

When is the Virgin Galactic flight?

On July 11, Virgin Galactic will make a giant leap toward commercial suborbital spaceflight. The company will launch its first fully crewed flight of its SpaceShipTwo space plane Unity with a special passenger on board: the company's billionaire founder Richard Branson. Space.comVirgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity 22 launch with Richard Branson: Here's when to watch and what to know.

When does Bezos launch?

The successful test flight set the stage for founder Jeff Bezos and crew to take to the skies with a July 20 launch. CNETJeff Bezos and Blue Origin: See how his journey to space is taking flight

The Kármán line is the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space as set by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. It's defined as 100 kilometers or 62 miles above sea level, and according to Blue Origin, it's what "96 percent of the world's population" recognizes as the beginning of outer space. Blue Origin plans to offer customers 10 minutes of flight with an altitude that reaches the Kármán line. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic's website says its flights will soar at "nearly" 300,000 feet (57 miles) in altitude. That doesn't quite reach the Kármán line, though that's still higher than what NASA and the US government defines as the beginning of space (50 miles above sea level).

Only 4% of the world recognizes a lower limit of 80 km or 50 miles as the beginning of space. New Shepard flies above both boundaries. One of the many benefits of flying with Blue Origin.

Aside from comparing their vehicles' maximum altitudes, Blue Origin also made it a point to mention that the New Shepard has the largest windows in space. Also, the New Shepard is a rocket, but SpaceShipTwo, according to Blue Origin, is just a high-altitude plane. The company published the comparison after Virgin Galactic scheduled Branson's trip to space before Jeff Bezos' — the multi-billionaire and his brother will join Blue Origin's first suborbital tourist flight that's scheduled for a July 20th launch. 

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