This month marks a new leap in the world of space tourism. Three big things are going to happen this month
First: British businessman and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson will travel to space on July 11 aboard SpaceShip-2 Unity as a mission specialist.
Second: Nine days later, that is, on July 20, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will fly to visit the ‘Edge of Space’.
Third: At the end of the month, Boeing is going to fly a test flight of its Skyliner.
The successful flight of Branson’s Virgin Space Ship (VSS) Unity spaceplane will open new avenues for suborbital tourism within Earth’s orbit. If the flights of Bezos and Boeing are successful, then the market of private commercial space travel will also grow rapidly till the edge of space. So far missions without crew have been successful. Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Bezos’s Blue Origin, as well as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Boeing are also making strides in space tourism. India’s daughter Sirisha is also about to fly in Branson’s mission. After this mission, Sirisha will become the second woman after India-born and space traveler Kalpana Chawla.
The companies of Branson and Bezos have received permission for the mission with the crew. For this reason, on July 11, Branson and Bezos are going to create history by going together in the first mand-mission of their companies on July 20. Branson’s company is preparing to take people to space every week from 2022. For this, he is in the process of recovering $ 2.50 lakh or about Rs 1.90 crore. On this basis, according to a report by Reuters, by 2030, the space tourism market is going to be worth 3 billion dollars, that is, about 26 thousand crores.
But the first question is where does space begin?
You must be feeling that where the atmosphere ends, space begins from there. But it is not. The atmosphere is about 10 thousand km above the earth. But this is also not the ultimate truth. As you go up, the air will decrease. It is difficult to know for sure where it has ended.
What’s more, different agencies have their own definitions regarding space launch. NASA and the international aeronautical and astronautical record-keeping organization Fédération Aéronautique Internationale believe that space begins from the Carman Line. Then what is the Carman line? It is an imaginary line, which is 100 km above sea level. The one who goes above it is considered an astronaut. Now if Branson and Bezos are going to space, they will have to go up to 100 km, then we can call them astronauts.
Richard Branson: Will go up in the airplane and then the rocket will separate from it
When: July 11, Sunday
Timings: 6 PM (Indian Time)
Where: Spaceport America, New Mexico
Flight duration: 2.5 hours
How high will it go: 90-100 km
Watch live here: VirginGalactic.com, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook
Richard Branson has his own company, Virgin Galactic. It has traveled to the Age of Space three times so far. But till now it was only test flights. On June 25, the company formally got the license. That is, now the company can take common people to space after basic training.
Branson himself is on the flight to see how long it will take, what the tourist’s weightlessness experience will be like, and how it can be improved. Because of this, he is being called a mission specialist ie a member of the crew. The company plans to take tourists to space every week from 2022. Branson’s flight can be called it’s trial.
The funny thing is that Branson had no plans at all. There was talk of Bezos’s space travel everywhere. But when Virgin Galactic got the license on June 25, the company announced its mission on July 11. It is clear that Branson wants to beat Bezos in this space tourism race.
How it will fly: This is the 22nd flight of VSS Unity. But he is not part of any rocket but will fly from Spaceport America aboard the company’s plane VMS Eve. After going up about 15 km, the Unity spacecraft will separate and its rocket engine will catch a speed of Mach-3 (ie 3704.4 km / h).
After this VSS Unity will go to an altitude of about 90-100 km with its rocket. At that time, other passengers including Branson will feel weightless for about 4 minutes. From here the earth will appear round. That is, its curvature will be visible. It will then return to Earth and land on the spaceport’s runway.
What is special about this
Branson will be accompanied by Virgin Galactic’s Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses, the company’s Lead Operations Engineer Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandala, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research. Sirisha is an Indian-origin woman born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, and raised in Houston (USA). After this flight, Sirisha will become the second Indian-born woman astronaut after Kalpana Chawla.
Jeff Bezos: Spacewalk the day Armstrong stepped on the moon
When: July 20, Tuesday
Time: Not yet decided
Where: West Texas, US
Flight duration: 11 minutes
How high will it go: 100 km
Watch live here: BlueOrigin.com and YouTube
As far as the space travel of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is concerned, there is a lot of talk on this. This will be the first manned or crewed flight of his own company Blue Origin. The special thing is that there is a special reason for fixing the day of July 20. The 52nd anniversary of America’s Apollo 11 moon landing mission is falling on this day. On this day 52 years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon.