September 24, 2021

With the flight of space billionaires, the “right thing” of space travel enters a new era

Perhaps this is the first time, from a strictly financial point of view, the humans in the spacecraft will be more valuable than the spacecraft itself, because the billionaire boarded two historic suborbital space flights this month The sky marks the great change in the spaceships that requires becoming an astronaut.
On July 11, British mogul Richard Branson will enter the cockpit of the VSS Unity space plane with three employees from his Virgin Galactic space travel company. More than a week later, on July 20, coinciding with the 52nd anniversary of the first American landing on the moon, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (Jeff Bezos) will board the new Shepard capsule as a passenger and travel on his first manned flight. . The company, the blue origin.
Neither flight will last long: all billionaires will emerge from the clutches of gravity in just a few minutes. But overall, these two short trips to suborbital space can usher in a new era of spaceflight and astronauts.
“I think the definition of’astronaut’ is now available again,” Jordan Beam, a space historian at the University of Chicago and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, told Space.com. “What hasn’t changed is that this space is still an incredibly elite space. It is just a different path.” Chapter
No matter how the thinking of future astronauts changes, the paper will retain the astronauts who have flown so far. The taste of the space station was influenced by the military aura of the Cold War astronauts and the scientific agenda of the researchers, he said. “It’s not that he gets rid of these identities every time,” Beam said. “It’s built on them, like an extra layer of paint on an old wall.”
Related: How to watch Virgin Galactic launch Richard Branson into space
Photo: The first space tourists
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Slow Space Journey
For the two billionaires, the journey into space began more than ten years ago, when all the established entrepreneurs founded a company aimed at the aerospace sector.
Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004. The company has focused on suborbital passenger transport of manned space aircraft launched from larger transport aircraft. The initial goal of the first commercial flight was to take place as early as 2008, but the company faced a number of delays, including a fatal accident in 2014.
Virgin Galactic is only in 2019. Since then, the companys plan to launch a cabin Completion has once again faced delays. However, Branson did not hide his plans to participate in the first operational tour of Virgin Galactic, since in 2013 he planned to participate in this flight.
Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin staff celebrate the successful landing of the New Shepard rocket.
Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin staff celebrate the successful landing of the New Shepard rocket. (Image Source: Blue Origin)
Bezos has kept his intention to fly, even though he has long spoken publicly about seeing the 1969 Apollo moon landing and wishing to visit space for himself. He founded Blue Origin in 2000. The company’s vision began with the vertical launch of reusable rockets into suborbital space. (The company has since announced a planned orbital system.)
Blue Origin may have dreamed of launching commercial suborbital flights as early as 2010, but has so far insisted on 15 unmanned launches, including a company staff rehearsing in and out of Capsule, but not on board during the flight.
Although Branson and Bezos will be the first to provide funding for the aircraft they will fly, they will not be the first to purchase a way to enter space. In the 2000s, seven passengers boarded the Russian Soyuz capsule on flights booked through Space Adventures, a Virginia-based space travel company, to the International Space Station. These trips that cost tens of millions of dollars include a week-long stay in the orbital laboratory, which means facing the insult of trying to sleep and go to the bathroom without the help of gravity.
Branson and Bezos’ short suborbital excursions will be very different, but they will have to deal with some of the hustle and bustle that surrounds those sightseeing flights, about who will become an astronaut and what is an astronaut.
Related: Richard Branson said he will not take Jeff Bezos into space via a Virgin Galactic launch.
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Who owns the “right stuff”?
Americans love astronauts almost as much as American astronauts. Our idea of ​​astronauts began with manned spaceflight itself, when the Soviet Union and the United States entered space in the late 1990s. In 1950.
When the United States began its astronaut program, leaders considered several different types of astronauts. According to Harvard University space historian Matthew Hersch, when the Air Force briefly took power, it considered sending desktop passengers into orbit, and even NASA briefly opened astronaut apps to everyone. The program then limits the scope to the military domain. pilot.
In selecting the first batch of astronauts, NASA had to face the reality that it did not know what characteristics would make a successful astronaut.
Related: Will Richard Branson Really Hit Space When Virgin Galactic Launches?
NASA Mercury astronauts announced their choice to the world at a press conference in 1959.
NASA Mercury astronauts announced their choice to the world at a press conference in 1959. (Image source: NASA)
“One of the dirty little secrets of choosing Project Mercury is that astronaut inspection was invented for that choice,” Hirsch said. “The most important thing is that the purpose of their service is to test people’s willingness to endure a lot of nonsense to become astronauts.” After Chapter
was selected, the first batch of test pilots became

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