Blue Origin: Wally Funk's energy praised by Virgin Galactic ticket holder

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Business Insider 25 July, 2021 - 04:15am 70 views

Who was on Bezos space flight?

Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old physics student, accompanied Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos and 82-year-old female aviator Wally Funk - the oldest person to go to space - on a 10-minute trip beyond Earth's atmosphere. ReutersDutch teen on space flight told Bezos he had never ordered from Amazon

How much did Blue Origin cost?

The price was originally $200,000 and later raised to $250,000, but Virgin Galactic stopped sales in 2014 after a crash of its first space plane during a test flight. Virgin Galactic officials say they will resume sales later this year, and the price will likely be higher than $250,000. The New York TimesHow Much Does It Cost to Fly on Blue Origin's New Shepard?

What time is the Blue Origin launch on Tuesday?

Launch is scheduled for Tuesday, July 20, at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) from Blue Origin's Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas. space.comBlue Origin's Jeff Bezos launch on New Shepard: Live updates

Is Bezos launch on TV?

Here's the information you'll need to watch the Bezos space flight on TV, or online via a free live stream. When is Jeff Bezos space flight? The Jeff Bezos rocket launch will happen around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20. The exact time that coverage begins on TV will vary based on each network that is covering the flight. nj.comJeff Bezos space flight: How to watch launch, live stream, time, TV, channel

By Ryan Morrison For Mailonline

Despite flying to the edge of space, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos does not qualify for his astronaut wings, after the US Federal Aviation Authority tightened its rules.

Bezos and the crew of Blue Origin took off from their base at Van Horn, Texas, at 9.12am EST on Tuesday, the 52nd anniversary of the moon landing. 

They ascended for four minutes before the fully autonomous New Shepard rocket booster separated, leaving them floating in zero gravity for four minutes.

It is the autonomous portion of the spaceflight that will see Bezos, his brother Mark, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen miss out on their FAA-approved wings.

In order to qualify, they have to make a contribution to the flight and to human space flight safety while travelling beyond the 50 miles mark defined as space by the FAA. 

It is possible Wally Funk may be given 'honorary astronaut wings' by the FAA for 'demonstrating and extraordinary contribution' to human spaceflight.

Even if Bezos doesn't get his FAA Wings, it doesn't take away from them going into space, as Blue Origin's New Shepard easily passed the 50 mile mark.

This madee Bezos is the richest man to go to space, Wally Funk the oldest, and Oliver Daemen the youngest.

Bezos floats in space after being launched 66 miles into space on Tuesday morning by the New Shepard rocket 

The Amazon billionaire was almost euphoric after returning to Earth with his crewmates. He described it as a 'perfect mission' 

The New Shepard launched the capsule carrying Jeff Bezos and three other passengers into space on Tuesday, 25 seconds after lift off

Amazon founder and outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos entered the space sector in 2000, two years before SpaceX was formed by Elon Musk.

Based in Kent, Washington, it originally focused on sub-orbital spaceflight services, building cheaper, more reliable and reusable launch vehicles.

They are gradually moving from suborbital to orbital flight in an incremental way and will launch humans to space on July 20. 

Bezos will be on that first crewed flight along with his brother Mark, the winner of the auction, and three members of Blue Origin staff. 

The firm currently has two launch vehicles, the suborbital New Shepherd, named for the first American in space, Alan Shepherd, and New Glenn, named for John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. 

Bezos has announced they are also working on New Armstrong, after the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, although no details have been revealed. 

So far, only Virgin Galactic pilots, flying the spaceplane from the cockpit, and chief astronaut Beth Moses, who flew solo in the cabin on a test flight, have been awarded the new commercial FAA astronaut wings. Nobody from Blue Origin has qualified.  

With the Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft controlled entirely from the ground, with no input from the crew on board, the new FAA criteria wasn't met.

This could put the entire space tourism industry in doubt, experts predict, as passengers on the various spacecraft wouldn't 'get their wings'. 

It is possible a new category of 'space tourist' or commercial astronaut is created to describe those who go to space purely as a passenger, rather than crew or pilots.

Mary Robinette Kowal, award winning author of the Lady Astronaut series, suggested on Twitter that astronaut should be an 'earned term' reserved for someone engaged in space exploration and science. 

She said: 'One of the things that bothers me is calling these passengers "astronauts." Spacefarers, yes. I've felt like astronaut ought to be an earned term.' 

This doesn't mean they wouldn't be astronauts, as the firms themselves could issue their own wings, with a tourist becoming a Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin astronaut, but they wouldn't be issued or recognised by an independent authority like the FAA. 

Blue Origin had argued that because they fly above the internationally recognised 'Karman Line' at 62 miles above the Earth, they meet international astronaut standards, whereas Virgin Galactic only operates to just over 50 miles.

This is the line defined as the edge of space by both NASA and the FAA, and so far only Virgin Galactic pilots, as well as chief astronaut Beth Moses, who flew solo in the cabin on a test flight, have been issued with FAA astronaut wings. 

Branson and his crew were each given a specific task to operate while in the cabin, with Branson responsible for 'the passenger experience' which may be enough for them to each qualify for FAA wings, although that isn't entirely clear.

Sir Richard Branson travelled to the edge of space on VSS Unity on July 11, becoming the first of the 'billionaire space set' to leave the Earth in their own firms vehicle.

The wings don't actually carry any legal status and come with no privileges beyond bragging rights, but it is seen as beneficial to have an independently issued badge. 

It isn't all bad news for the Blue Origin crew though, as the FAA is able to issue honorary wings in exceptional circumstances.

In order to qualify as an astronaut crew have to make a contribution to the flight and to human space flight safety while travelling beyond the 50 miles mark defined as space by the FAA. 

While Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic both pass the 50 mile mark, it isn't clear whether the passengers make enough of a contribution to be called 'astronaut' 

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, left, receives a Virgin Galactic made astronaut wings pin from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield after his flight to space from Spaceport America near Truth or Consequences, N.M., Sunday, July 11, 2021

This is for 'individuals who demonstrated extraordinary contributions or beneficial service to the commercial human space flight industry' but don't meet the criteria. 

This means Wally Funk, who completed NASA training in the early 1960s, could still earn her wings from the flight on July 20. 

The term 'astronaut' doesn't have an official globally recognised definition, but the FAA is the first to issue 'astronaut wing's to commercial space endeavours and responsible for the regulation of commercial space travel in the US.

International agencies may define 'astronaut' differently once operations begin from spaceports around the world. 

Funk, an aviation pioneer, was part of the 1960s Women in Space training scheme, until it was shut down during the Cold War. Despite besting some of the Mercury 7 astronaut scores, she never got to go to space.

Even without the badge, she still became the oldest person to go to space as the craft passed the 50 mile mark by 13 miles, the question is over the title astronaut.

Blue Origin have been asked for a comment but have yet to respond. 

The world's richest man Jeff Bezos described his journey to space as the 'perfect mission' and a 'tiny little step' in his masterplan to build a road to space where he thinks the world's major industries will be able to operate in the future to save planet Earth. 

Bezos and the crew of Blue Origin took off from their base at Van Horn, Texas, at 9.12am EST on Tuesday, the 52nd anniversary of the moon landing, 12 minutes behind schedule. They ascended for four minutes before the New Shepard rocket booster separated from their capsule, leaving them floating in zero gravity for four minutes. 

Bezos and Mark floated about, pretended to swim and tossed skittles in each other's mouths while in the air, they said afterwards. They had written 'Hi' and 'Mom' on their palms and put their hands together for their mother Jacklyn while in space. 

They were joined by 18-year-old Oliver Daemen - the word's first paying customer to buy his flight - and 82-year-old Wally Funk, who passed NASA's space program in the 1960s but never made it to space because the women's flight was canceled.  

They then returned to earth with parachutes controlling the pace of their descent, touching down in the Texas desert at 9.22am EST, 10 minutes and 20 seconds after liftoff.

The 10 minute journey cost $5.5billion - $550million per minute. Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon CEO earlier this year and will now split his time between Blue Origin and his environmental charity, said at a press conference after the flight: 'For every amazon customer, you guys paid for all this so thank you from the bottom of my heart.' 

The comment that is likely to sting critics who say the commercial space race between Bezos and fellow billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson is elitist and unfair when so many others will never be able to afford the experience.  

Bezos' Blue Origin crew traveled 66 miles above the surface of Earth - 13 miles higher than Virgin Galactic billionaire Branson. He tweeted his congratulations to the team afterwards.  

Bezos says his goal is to move the world's major industries that are damaging the planet to space in order to preserve Earth's environment. He wants to develop space travel like aviation pioneers did with commercial airliners, and says eventually, it'll become more affordable. 

On Tuesday he revealed he has already sold $100million in tickets for future flights.  Blue Origin will perform another two commercial flights this year using the same capsule but different boosters. 

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Former Virgin Galactic CEO to fly to space - CNBC | Taiwan News | 2021-07-25 00:30:00

Taiwan News 25 July, 2021 - 12:30am

Former chief executive officer of Virgin Galactic Holdings, George Whitesides, will fly to space on the aerospace company's next test spaceflight, CNBC reported on Friday.

Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Galactic, flew to space earlier this month, beating Amazon.com Inc's Jeff Bezos to the final frontier. Branson announced the news about Whitesides during a party in New Mexico on July 11, following his own spaceflight, the report said.

Lori Garver, a former deputy administrator of NASA was present at the party and told CNBC that Branson said, "George will be leading our next flight."

Branson, whose spaceflight marked a symbolic milestone for the venture he started 17 years ago, touted the mission as a precursor to a new era of space tourism.

Bezos, along with three others including the world's oldest space traveler and astronaut, Wally Funk, flew into space just days later, aboard his own space company Blue Origin's rocket.

Virgin Galactic did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

It’s easy to scoff at Branson and Bezos – but like it or not, the space travel era is here | Katy Brand

The Independent 23 July, 2021 - 03:30pm

So the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, bought himself a place in space. And the history books. It was a few days later but also a little higher than our own Richard Branson’s effort, who also took his rocket to the upper atmosphere on the very day nobody was paying any attention, due to several major sporting events and a general sense of malaise about the whole endeavour.

Because, as many have pointed out, it does all rather feel like very rich boys and their very expensive toys. When you add Elon Musk into the mix, with his SpaceX programme, there is a sense that these wealthy men, who have carved up the earth to their advantage, are now racing to get into orbit so they can sell space back to us too. It seems to a lot of people view it as an indulgent and insulting way to spend all that money – flying into nowhere when so many are in need right here on earth.

And I see this point, and feel it too. To cap it all, these are not the most likeable men on our home planet, and efforts at creating good PR around the blast off dates fell rather flat. But I’m not sure I can wholly go along with the comprehensive trashing these projects have received. Musk’s money and partnership with NASA is genuinely bringing the costs of space travel down by an extraordinary amount because of his research into reusable rockets that can land back on earth after a mission, rather than getting destroyed.

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