The first civil flight in space will not be SpaceX

As space tourism crosses the fourth wall from Hollywood to Cape Canaveral, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company, seemed the perfect candidate to star in this new chapter in space history. But there is another actor from “New Space” who could finally be at the top of the scene. In this long-range battle between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, the founder of Amazon could have scored a new point.

While NASA had just made a surprising reversal on the issue of their lunar lander earlier this week, it put Blue Origin back into competition against SpaceX. Now Jeff Bezos’ space company could be the first private company to send tourists into space in the coming months. The company’s New Shepard missile could launch on June 20. After saying goodbye to their rocket, the crew will travel beyond the limits of space for a few minutes of weightlessness with epic views of the earth and sky before returning to a soft landing supported by a parachute. On earth.

Right now, Blue Origin’s rocket seems to be the biggest unknown in this equation. Like its SpaceX Starship competitor, New Shepard has never hosted a manned flight, yet Jeff Bezos confirmed on Wednesday that the first flight would take place in the coming weeks.

Space tourism: too early?

If today companies like SpaceX or Blue Origin, but we can also quote Virgin Galactic, have carried out all three flights into orbit fairly regularly and safely even in the race for space tourism, risk zero is still a long way from being achieved. and there’s a big difference between the flights of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which sends highly trained astronauts to the ISS, and Blue Origin, which aims to send tourists with light training to the limits of the ISS space.

If space tourism becomes a reality in the next few years, Jeff Bezos has decided to try everything on June 20th. A failure during such a published flight would undoubtedly cost the space company a great deal, which it may not recover from.

In recent months, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have lost satellites on flights in orbit. Richard Branson’s company was also injured by the loss of one of its pilots during a test flight of his missile. Blue Origin and its boss Jeff Bezos are taking very big risks by announcing a date for a first manned flight. It remains to be seen whether this announcement will be followed by the facts or whether it is just a communication strike that the head of Amazon feels good. At this time, the company has not disclosed any information about the names of possible passengers or the price of tickets. Space in a rocket like New Shepard is regularly valued at around half a million dollars for a few minutes’ flight to the edge of space.

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