How to watch Bezos blast off on first crewed Blue Origin launch

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CNET 19 July, 2021 - 02:00am 51 views

Where is Blue Origin launching from?

Blue Origin will launch four civilians, including the company's billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, on its its suborbital New Shepard rocket on Tuesday from Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas. space.comBlue Origin launch will be the 1st fully automated flight with civilian astronauts: report

How high did Virgin Galactic fly?

The edge of space is often defined by the so-called Kármán line, at an altitude of 62 miles. While the New Shepard capsule flies above the Kármán line, Virgin Galactic's craft reached an altitude of around 53 miles during Branson's flight. NBC NewsNow it's Jeff Bezos' turn to make history with flight into space

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Musk commented "haha" under a meme posted on Twitter about Bezos' flight. The meme shows Bezos talking to Musk about his flight, but with their faces superimposed onto Anakin Skywalker and Padme from "Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones" — a popular meme format.

The meme makes fun of the fact Jeff Bezos' flight will be sub-orbital, meaning it will only just touch the edge of space before coming back down to Earth, rather than going into orbit.

Bezos is scheduled to fly onboard New Shepard, a spacecraft made by his company Blue Origin, on July 20.

Bezos' flight is slated to fly just above the Kármán line, an imaginary line 62 miles above sea-level, which some use to define the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and space.

Bezos' flight should take roughly 11 minutes, during which Bezos and the other passengers will experience approximately three minutes of weightlessness. Travelling with Bezos will be his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daeman.

Elon Musk has had a long-running rivalry with Bezos, as both billionaires own space exploration companies. Musk's company SpaceX has a stated goal of one day transporting human beings to Mars, and Musk has said he wants to help colonise the red planet.

Musk has previously called Bezos' Blue Origin a "copycat," and made fun of the company's proposed lunar lander Blue Moon comparing it to "blue balls."

Recently, the two companies have clashed over a contract awarded to SpaceX by NASA in April, with Blue Origin lobbying Washington to allow NASA to give out more money to another company.

Read full article at CNET

How can you become a space tourist?

Phys.org 18 July, 2021 - 02:38pm

Here's a rundown of where things stand.

Two companies are offering short "suborbital" hops of a few minutes: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson.

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket takes off vertically and the crew capsule detaches and crosses the Karman line (62 miles, or 100 kilometers, in altitude), before falling back to Earth with three parachutes.

Virgin Galactic uses a massive carrier plane, which takes off from a horizontal runway then drops a rocket-powered spaceplane. This in turn soars to over 50 miles altitude before gliding back.

In both cases, up to six passengers are able to unbuckle from their seats to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and take in the view of Earth from space.

Virgin Galactic has said regular commercial flights will begin from 2022, following two more test flights. Their waiting list is already long, with 600 tickets so far sold.

But the company predicts it will eventually run up to 400 flights per year. Two seats on one of the first flights are up for grabs in a prize draw: registrations are open until September 1.

As for Blue Origin, no detailed calendar has been announced.

"We're planning for two more flights this year, then targeting many more in 2022," a spokesperson told AFP.

Another way to get to space is via reality television. Space Hero, an upcoming show, says it plans to send the winner of a competition to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2023.

The first tickets sold by Virgin Galactic went for between $200,000 and $250,000 each, but the company has warned that the cost for future sales will go up.

Blue Origin hasn't announced prices. The anonymous winner of a public auction for a seat on the first crewed flight paid $28 million, but decided to defer their trip.

It's not known what amount was bid for the seat secured by Dutch teen Oliver Daemen, who will fly in the auction winner's place.

The more "budget conscious" might consider spending $125,000 for a seat on Space Neptune: a capsule that offers 360 degree windows and is lifted to the upper atmosphere by a balloon the size of a football stadium.

Despite the promise of spectacular views, the balloon ascends only 19 miles—far from the boundary of space, and weightlessness.

The 300 seats for 2024 have all been sold, but reservations are open for 2025.

No—you're only expected to be in reasonable shape. Virgin Galactic's training lasts just five days.

Blue Origin promises to teach you everything you need to know "the day before you launch," and its first crewed flight includes pioneering aviator Wally Funk, who at 82 will become the oldest astronaut.

The company's requirements include being able to climb seven flights of stairs in under 90 seconds (the height of the launch tower) and being between 5'0" and 110 pounds (152 centimeters and 50 kilograms) and 6'4" and 223 pounds (193 cm and 100 kg).

Elon Musk's company is also getting into the space tourism game, but its plans involve journeys that are far longer. The costs are also predicted to be astronomical—tens of millions of dollars.

In September, American billionaire Jared Isaacman has chartered a mission called Inspiration4 to take him and three other passengers into orbit around the Earth on a SpaceX Crew Dragon, launched into space by a Falcon 9 rocket.

Then in January 2022, three businessmen will travel to the ISS with an experienced astronaut. The mission, named Ax-1, is being organized by the company Axiom Space, which has signed up for three other future flights with SpaceX.

Elon Musk's company is also planning a trip to orbit for four people, organized by intermediary Space Adventures—the same company in charge of the flight of the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the ISS in December, aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Maezawa is also supposed to take a trip around the Moon in 2023, this time aboard a rocket that is still under development by SpaceX, called Starship.

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