August 5, 2021

The petty rivalry between Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos for who will be first in space

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, plans to go into space on July 20, 2021 to open the door to the space tourism industry. But when no one expected it, we learned last week that Richard Branson, the founder and CEO of Virgin, will get ahead of Jeff Bezos.

Indeed, Branson has announced that he will be heading to space on July 11, 2021. Like Bezos, Branson will perform this flight using technologies developed by his own firm.

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For this first trip, a delighted victory for Jeff Bezos, and a first step towards a new tourist era, everything is already ready. Richard Branson does not hide his pride in this major step that he and his company are about to take.

Richard Branson will go to space before his eternal rival

As for Jeff Bezos, as a reminder, he will make the trip in a capsule Shepard made of course by Blue Origin. It will be for July 20, alongside his brother and the lucky winner of an auction. Bezos was therefore to be the forerunner of the era of space tourism, but ultimately Branson will be 9 days ahead of him.

According to a statement, the billionaire will indeed go to space on July 11, which comes at 6 a.m. on board the VSS Unity, a device built by Virgin Galactic.

Aside from Branson, this trip will include two pilots, Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci, as well as four other passengers.

To launch VSS Unity into space, Virgin Galactic will not use a conventional rocket. Indeed, the method will use a carrier plane piloted by Mackay and Masucci. Once at high altitude, the VSS Unity will be jettisoned and use its engines to propel itself into space. Once in orbit, the aircraft before gently descending to Earth. The entire getaway will be fully broadcast live.

Richard Branson is clearly proud of this victory

Branson stressed the importance of offering the world the opportunity to go beyond the Kármán line (as a reminder, it is the border that separates us from space, 100km above our heads). This is precisely one of the reasons why the billionaire is really happy to make this first space trip, the result of 16 long years of research.

Branson also proudly stated that after July 11, 2021, Virgin Galactic will officially be the first company to make the space accessible to the general public. This should also be done by 2022. History to be patient by next year, after July 11, two additional test flights will be necessary, announces the firm.