Rumors that Branson will go to space before Bezos, Virgin Galactic does not deny it
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Bezos established his own space company Blue Origin in 2000. On Monday, he announced that he plans to travel in space on the new Shepard rocket developed by Blue Origin. The launch time has been scheduled for July 20.
The next day, Douglas Messier, the blogger who runs the space blog Parabolic Arc for a long time, published a report suggesting that Virgin Galactic may be ahead of Bezos and let himself The founder of Branson experiences space travel. An “informed person who requested anonymity” told Messier that Virgin Galactic plans to send Branson to space on this Sunday, July 4, during a test flight of the SpaceShip Two rocket plane. This will allow Branson to unlock the space trip two weeks earlier than Bezos.
Messier’s insider also revealed that after seeing Blue Origin set a date for its first manned space flight, Virgin Galactic could not help but start to develop its own flight plan. Blue Origin announced its first manned space flight plan as early as May 5, nearly a month earlier than Bezos revealed that he would also board the rocket.
It is difficult for us to independently verify whether Messier’s report is true. However, according to a statement provided by a Virgin Galactic spokesperson, the company did not deny the content of the report.
The spokesperson said: “At this time, we have not yet confirmed the date of the next flight.”
The spokesperson went on to add that Branson’s space trip is “expected In summer”, independent of another test flight. Another test flight will involve four “mission experts”—in fact, employees who will play the role of future passengers.
Virgin Galactic has previously stated that Branson will go to space after mission experts. But as of Wednesday, a Virgin Galactic spokesperson did not respond to questions about which of the two missions will be executed first.
George Nield, former deputy director of the Federal Aviation Administration, said: “People can easily believe that they can exchange missions or have Richard Branson as a tester , Became one of the four mission experts and boarded the rocket plane.”
Neild also said that Branson “has done a lot of risky things in his career. Obviously, he is right This project is also very confident. If he feels that everything is okay and is willing to go to battle in person, no one can stop him.”
Founder of the George Washington University Space Policy Institute and former member of NASA Advisory Committee John Logsdon (John Logsdon) said: “This looks very interesting. These billionaires chose to have fun in the first space flight of their own rocket. SpaceX’s starship should also be about to undergo orbital testing. I don’t know if Elon Musk will also go to battle in person?”
The launch of Branson on July 4 is “quite feasible”
Nilder said Virgin Galactic can easily do the paperwork, and then let Branson board a rocket plane to go to space on July 4.
He said: “In my opinion, this thing can definitely be done.” However, Nield emphasized that he did not know the communication between Virgin Galactic and the FAA, and launched a commercial rocket. Requires FAA permission.
Virgin Galactic may have to modify the FAA’s permission to allow Branson to board the plane. After the modification, the company may be able to arrange “passengers” and crew members (for Virgin Galactic, crew members are pilots and mission experts). Nield said that as long as the last flight data did not show any major problems, the modification should be simple and fast.
Neild said: “Maybe the license change is the’delete the fifth paragraph’ or something, so it’s not a big deal.”
Branson may still be able to serve The new role of crew, such as mission specialist. If this is the case, Virgin Galactic wants to send the founder to space without having to modify the flight permit.