Fans notice that 'The Simpsons' predicted Richard Branson's space flight in 2014

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yahoo.com 15 July, 2021 - 06:09am 12 views

Where is Virgin Galactic taking off from?

They will take off from the company's homeport of Spaceport America in New Mexico, with a live webcast chronicling the flight. Here's everything you need to know about the mission, which Virgin Galactic has dubbed Unity 22. Space.comVirgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Unity 22 launch with Richard Branson. See video and photos of the flight.

Is Richard Branson going into space?

Richard Branson is going to space The space tourism company Virgin Galactic successfully launched its founder Richard Branson and five other crewmembers into suborbital space on July 11, 2021 in a milestone mission that marked the first fully crewed flight of its VSS Unity space plane. Space.comIn photos: Virgin Galactic's 1st fully crewed spaceflight with billionaire Richard Branson

Who was with Branson in space?

Richard Branson becomes 1st billionaire in space Branson and Bandla were part of a six-person crew that included pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, Virgin Galactic chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, and lead operations engineer Colin Bennett. Today.comRichard Branson addresses critics who say money shouldn't be spent on space travel

Has Richard Branson been to space?

Richard Branson did not go on space flight, said astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium deGrasse in an interview with CNN. “First of all, it was suborbital. NASA did it 60 years ago with Alan Shepard, took off from Cape Canaveral and landed in the ocean. WIONA misleading bike ride video, space vs edge of space questions: Did Branson lie about some aspects of his trip?

Three Horsemen of Space Tourism—Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk! What Are the Implications? | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com

The Weather Channel 15 July, 2021 - 01:37pm

Onboard VSS Unity, Branson lived his dream of watching the earth from space; Bezos is next in line with a space flight of his own company Blue Origin, scheduled to take off next Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has already been taking crew members for trips to the International Space Station and plans to send an all-civilian crew into orbit in September 2021. Under the dearMoon Project, the first commercial space flight to the moon has been announced for 2023.

Three other Virgin Galactic employees accompanied Richard Branson on Sunday’s flight一Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor; Colin Bennett, lead Operations Engineer; and Indian-origin Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs at Virgin Galactic.

Space tourism is an extravagantly costly affair and will remain the same until the next few decades. It has seen an impressive developmental curve since 1976, with Barron Hilton, the president of Hilton Hotels, describing his vision for a hotel on the moon. Following Richard Branson’s flight to space, Virgin Galactic has also announced that they have more than 600 ticket reservations already, each priced at around $250,000 (₹ 1.86 crores).

The company hopes to begin full-fledged commercial space travel by 2022, with ticket prices slashed to around $40,000. On the eve of Branson’s space flight, the 70-year old remarked that as a child, he dreamt of travelling to space after witnessing the Apollo Missions, and it led to him founding his own company, Virgin Galactic, in 2004. Blue Origin, privately owned by Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos, plans to sell around $1 billion in Amazon stock annually to fund similar space tourism ventures.

Dennis Tito, an American Businessman, became the first civilian to travel to space and accomplish the first tourist visit to the International Space Station in 2001, ushering in the new age of space tourism. Since then, the world has witnessed a mad rush among billionaires looking for opportunities to fund their space travel, with one of these three service providers一SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. Media reports say that an as-yet-unidentified person has secured a seat in Blue Origin’s first suborbital mission, slated for July 20, with a $28 million auction bid, alongside Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk has also declared that SpaceX will fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on a trip around the moon in its upcoming Starship rocket in 2023.

Alongside appraisals, the increasing number of space flights with billionaire civilians queuing up to travel to space has attracted criticism along the lines of risks involved and climate concerns. The rocket launches are a source of additional soot deposition in the earth’s lower atmosphere, and the fumes are said to be contributing to ozone layer depletion. These, in turn, have a cumulative impact on increasing global warming.

Dysfunctional satellites have continued to add to the artificial ‘space junk’ floating around in the lower atmosphere, impeding scientific research and adding to pollutant accumulation even beyond our planet. Moreover, the overall carbon footprint of each of these missions is large enough, and the sudden boom of this new industry could offset efforts of mitigating climate change. Also, the mad rush to continue and sustain this trend negatively impacts the prep times required. It has resulted in catastrophic disasters, including two Virgin Galactic pilots losing their lives in the process.

Even in the wake of private space travel companies rising, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an independent agency of the US Federal government and the world’s leading space agency, continues to avoid taking ‘tourists’ to space. While NASA did use SpaceX to ferry two astronauts in August 2020 and allowed it to use their launch station, NASA has deferred from carrying tourists on their missions.

In a press conference following the first private citizen visit to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA iterated its main issues with the new trend in the making. The reservations are on the grounds of inadequate training proficiency, interference into ongoing research caused by such visits to the International Space Station, crew safety concerns arising out of having unqualified passengers on board and liability issues regarding international treaties and legal framework of operations of the ISS.

Without a doubt, the burgeoning private interest in space is an unmatched technological milestone. Along with the booming new industry of space tourism, these trends allow better transfer of space technologies to fight Earthly problems and boost private investment in science and technology. However, unregulated space travel could be a potential threat not just for travellers but also for the entire planet.

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Space Flight Is an Exclusive Fantasy

New York Magazine 15 July, 2021 - 01:37pm

Our space-faring billionaires are striving for common dreams. Who hasn’t looked up at night and wondered what awaits humanity there, in the dark? For most of us, space is an abstract idea, a place we can see but will never touch. Once the province of professional astronauts, space is opening up, but its promise remains an exclusive one. Earth, meanwhile, is set to spin on largely as it always has, which is no reason to celebrate.

Space might well represent hope for Musk, but most people have more immediate concerns, like the travails imposed by climate change. Almost 200 people died during the Pacific Northwest’s recent record-setting heat wave. That tragedy may be dwarfed by future heat waves and corresponding death tolls; what happened in the Pacific Northwest looks like a harbinger, and not an anomaly, as the Earth inexorably warms. Consider the scene: As Branson and Bezos prepared for their respective journeys to the edge of space, farm workers labored to save harvests from unbearable temperatures. At least one died, in Oregon.

A billionaire could say that the masses aren’t his special responsibility — and to an extent, he’d be right. He’s a private citizen, not a government by and for the people. Private individuals though they are, they’re capable of so much more than they’ve begrudgingly given us. They aren’t rushing to pay workers livable wages in safe conditions; many cheat the U.S. tax code. Rather than turn their attentions to causes at home, they look outward and upward, where no one waits to challenge them. (The condition of being a billionaire allows them little choice. Good luck finding one who didn’t build a fortune at the expense of the planet or the working class.) There’s a wishful thinking inherent to these almost-space flights not present in other forms of luxury travel. In each instance, billionaires turn their backs to a planet they helped consume and look outward to possibilities they haven’t ruined or taken for themselves. Space doesn’t quite belong to them, though it could, and they certainly seem to hope it will. It’s hard to blame them. In space, there are no shareholders to mollify, no labor laws to flout, no PR storms to suffer, not yet. Space is still an absence, a blank slate upon which someone like Musk can project their personal hopes.

It’s not wrong to dream of space, of new worlds and new opportunities. Nor is it wrong to reach for those worlds. Humanity would be poorer without such world-spanning ambition. Billionaires, however, aren’t really stretching out on our collective behalf. They’re grasping for themselves. So there’s an uncomfortable subtext to Branson’s recent journey, which captured public attention; thousands watched him ascend to heights that may be closed to everyone else for a long time and maybe for good. Billionaires such as Branson have been more than pleased to build and then hoard wealth at our expense. There’s no cause to expect him, or Bezos, or Musk, to democratize space any more than they’ve democratized prosperity. They won’t save us, and neither will the aliens. We’re on our own, and we have problems to solve right now.

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