Space tourism: Elon Musk didn't take his feet off the ground but won the race

Space tourism is the order of the day, with three media flights taking place in less than two months. Millionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos went aboard their ships. Elon Musk didn’t take his feet off the ground, but he still won the race.

Confused? The explanation is very simple. On 11 July, Richard Branson boarded his company’s Virgin Galatic ship. , which got off a plane and reached 80 kilometers of altitude. Less than 11 days later, the 22 in July, it was Jeff Bezos’ turn to enter New Shepard for a flight that surpassed the 90 kilometers of altitude. The two have the honor of being the first space tourists aboard private spacecraft.

And Elon Musk? The South African-born visionary didn’t take his feet off the ground, but his Space X took space tourists higher than anyone else. safely in the Atlantic after three days in space, it reached an orbit 575 kilometers higher than that in which the International Space Station evolves and even the Hubble telescope.

In the multimillionaires race, Elon Musk categorically beat Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, even without taking his feet off the ground.

All did space tourism?

The question arose shortly after the arrival of Richard Branson’s capsule. What had he just done was space tourism? The flight lasted only 100 minutes and reached an altitude of 90 kilometers, below the so-called Kármán line.

The Kármán line, the 90 kilometers of altitude is the limit agreed to define the beginning of space, that point from which there is no trace of atmosphere. But by passing the 71 kilometers, Richard Branson and his guests went beyond the point where the United States and NASA define as the beginning of space.

The amounts paid by the participants on these trips are not known, but there is no doubt that the multimillionaire Jared Isaacman, who financed the three-day trip to space, can give the money for a lot. well used.

SpaceX: a very different objective

These flights can only be compared because they took place in such a short space of time. The big question is that the three billionaires have very different goals in mind and, therefore, their projects are also very different.

Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson bet fundamentally on space tourism, on flights short duration that will leave a memory for the life of half a dozen privileged people. That’s why the Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic spacecraft can only withstand short flights to the gateway to space. SpaceX to take the first men to Mars already in 2026.

SpaceX created its own aerospace center and innovative technology, having been the first to be able to reuse rockets. With this, they have made space travel much cheaper and are already their preferred spacecraft for launching satellites and taking astronauts to the International Space Station.

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