Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson all want to send private citizens to space. Their respective companies, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are dedicated to making space travel and space tourism more accessible. Here’s how they plan to do it.


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Following is the transcript of the video:

Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson all want to send private citizens to space. Their respective companies, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are dedicated to making space travel and space tourism more accessible. Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator:  SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are in a modern space race. Similar to when the United States and the Soviet Union competed to get astronauts on the moon, these billionaire-run companies are racing to bring people like you and me to space. But how will they do it?

Let’s start with Blue Origin, the passion project of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Blue Origin’s focus is on commercial space flight, or space tourism. It plans to shoot a booster rocket with an attached passenger capsule to 60 miles above the surface into sub-orbital space. At the top of the rocket’s arch, the capsule will detach, and for about four minutes, passengers will experience weightlessness. They’ll be allowed to unbuckle their seat belts and float around the cabin, looking out the window at the curvature of the Earth. The capsule will then start to fall back into the atmosphere, and parachutes will deploy to bring it down slowly. The whole trip only lasts about 11 minutes. A ticket on Blue Origin’s New Shepard will likely cost more than $200,000. That’s over $18,000 a minute. Blue Origin has tested the New Shepard rocket nine times, and the company still hopes to send civilians into space in 2018.

Virgin Galactic also aims to make commercial space travel accessible. But the vehicle it’s using looks quite different. Virgin Galactic’s SS Unity looks more like a plane than a rocket. The ship is made up of the WhiteKnightTwo, a carrier airplane, and SpaceShipTwo, a passenger spaceship. SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two crew members. The passenger ship detaches from the carrier plane about nine miles above the Earth’s surface. The ship then fires its rocket engines to blast about 50 miles further until it reaches sub-orbital space. Similar to Blue Origin, passengers will experience four to five minutes of weightlessness before the ship re-enters the atmosphere. The total trip should last about two and a half hours. Virgin Galactic has conducted three rocket-powered test flights of the SS Unity and it hopes to get its first passengers to space by the end of 2018. Founder Richard Branson will be one of the first people to take the trip. And Virgin Galactic has already sold 700 tickets for future flights, costing $250,000 each.

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX also wants to send people to space. SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to establish colonies on other planets. The ship SpaceX intends to send to Mars could hold 100 people, and the ride would be a lot longer than four minutes. But SpaceX also plans to send people to space on their way to other earthly destinations. The Big Falcon Rocket will briefly enter space to make long-distance travel shorter. Traveling by rocket from New York to Tokyo, for example, would only take 37 minutes. And it would take no more than an hour to get anywhere on Earth.

Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX are major players in the modern space race, but there are even more companies out there. It’s estimated that space tourism could generate $1.6 billion in revenue in the next decade. So no matter which company crosses this finish line first, there will inevitably be another race. After all, space is infinite.

Author Since: Sep 20, 2018

  1. Why are they racing to Space? I understand the general desire, but as it is currently, Space travel is inhuman. The few minute tourists rides probably will be ok, maybe some people pass out or throw up. But astronuts who stay months in space have to go through months of rehab when they get back to the surface… They cant drive for a few weeks, and its very rough on the body. They even have to be carried from the space capsule by armies of medical teams. A coloninst going to Mars would have a trip of around 5 months in space. They would require rehab when arriving at the surface, and might not even be able to move for hours. So how are they supposed to make a colony if this is how peoples bodies react to Space? plus no one is going to be there to help them from the ship. This is not well thought through at all. Longer trips will mean more damage to the bodies and even living on Mars, will cuase more alterations and damage to the body to occur. This is serious.

  2. 1.6 BILLION in a decade? That's either incorrect or a huge dissapointment. If Virgin Galactic already sold 700 tickets, we're already at 0,175 billion. For just about a 100 flights if about 6 to 7 people fit in there. That's only a few months worth of flights.

    My hunch: that number is way too low. 1.6 billion a YEAR, eventually. But one should hope this thing to take off faster. (pun intented….)

  3. The cost is so high, its only for the rich. Only 4/5minutes? 😂. Lets see if virgin galactic can finally do what they claim in 2018, they have delayed their service for many years..

  4. Air travel probably will change from commercial airlines to commercial air rockets on which travels would only take some minutes or an hour around the world. This is the future innovation of our air travel.

  5. Elon is the only one doing it for human existence and expansion…. these other guys just see money
    Yea let's blow through liquid oxygen and alcohol just for rich people to see the horizon
    .. but I get it, money brings the ability for more research