Big guns are getting cocky about space travel: the next frontier?

Lifestyle

Big guns are getting cocky about space travel: the next frontier?

Bezos has also penetrated the space market, not too far behind Branson’s 59-minute suborbital flight two weeks ago

Sanet Oberholzer

On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos officially joined the billionaire race to space. The 10-minute, 10-second suborbital flight aboard the New Shepard rocket was a milestone for Blue Origin, Bezos’s private spaceflight company, and the company’s first effort towards making space tourism viable.

Bezos was joined by his brother, Mark Bezos; 82-year-old Wally Funk, a former test pilot who paved the way for women to qualify for Nasa’s astronaut corps; and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old who secured a spot on the second planned flight but was offered this spot to replace the anonymous winner of a public auction who bid $28m but decided to sit out the flight due to “scheduling conflicts”. With this flight, Funk became the oldest person to travel to space and Daemen, a soon-to-be physics student, the youngest.

In a post-flight interview with US television channel MSNBC, Bezos said he also has an environmental vision for paving the way to space. “We need to take all heavy industry, all polluting industry and move it into space, and keep Earth as this beautiful gem of a planet that it is...

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