Richard Branson promises to beat Jeff Bezos in space


Sir Richard Branson has vowed to defeat Jeff Bezos in space, confirming plans to advance his first voyage aboard a Virgin Galactic spacecraft until July 11th.

After nearly two decades of research and testing by the two male companies, Branson’s escape would surpass the rival mission of his rival billionaire in just nine days.

“I really believe the space belongs to us all,” Branson said in the statement.

“After 17 years of research, engineering and innovation, the new commercial space industry is about to open up the universe to humanity and change the world for good.”

Shares of Virgin Galactic jumped 25% in out-of-hours operations. His ship, SpaceShipTwo Unity, has done three space tests in the past, most recently in May.

Last week was the company granted approval by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority to incorporate paying members into the citizenry, paving the way for Branson’s long-awaited flight.

Branson’s trip from New Mexico will be one of three tests he plans to do before he begins transporting paid passengers on his six-seater boat.

A Blue Origin spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on Branson’s revised schedule. His flight is scheduled to take place on July 20, from a location in West Texas.

On board will be Bezos and his younger brother Mark, as well as an undisclosed winning bidder for a third seat that was sold at auction last month for $ 28 million.

Wally Funk was part of the Mercury 13 program. The project to send women into space was controversially abandoned in 1961 © Blue Origin Media

Earlier Thursday, Blue Origin announced that the fourth and final passenger on board its flight would be Wally Funk, an 82-year-old American aviator who had been part of a controversial 1961 program to send women into space.

The scheme, nicknamed Mercury 13, consisted of subjecting women to the same physiological and psychological screening tests as male astronauts.

The program was later canceled by the U.S. government, which banned the use of military equipment to train women. Astronaut John Glenn, the third American in space, said sending women into space runs the risk of affecting the “social order.”

Funk, who at 22 had been the youngest of the Mercury 13 crew, will now become the oldest person to travel into space. He had previously left $ 200,000 to buy a ticket to travel to the Virgin Galactic office, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

“I didn’t think I would ever get to go up,” he said in a video message posted on social media.

Asked by Bezos what he planned to say once the Blue Origin boat touched down in the West Texas desert, Funk replied, “I’m going to say,‘ Dude, this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me! ‘”.


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