Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. has taken another step towards its goal of sending its customers to the edge of space: last week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated its current commercial space transport operator license. expanding it and allowing the company to bring its customers into space. It is the first license granted to a company for the space transport of people and, at the same time, Virgin Galactic has announced the details of the test flight on 22 May. Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, explained: “The flight went flawlessly and the results demonstrate the safety and elegance of our flight system. The FAA approval of our full commercial launch license, coupled with the success of our May 22 test flight, gives us confidence as we proceed to our first fully manned test flight this summer. ” Virgin Galactic shares were up approximately 30% following this announcement. Virgin in this race is in direct competition with Blue Origin LLC. The company founded by Jeff Bezos also aims to carry space tourists on short suborbital flights and earlier this month announced that its first manned flight will take place in July, with Bezos himself as a passenger. Blue Origin has applied but has not yet received license approval. An FAA spokesperson said, “As with all license application reviews, the FAA will make a decision when and if all regulatory requirements are met.” Meanwhile, Blue Origin has announced that the crew of the New Shepard is being formed, the rocket that will take off on 10 July. The first two members are Jeff Bezos himself and his brother Mark. For the third place it was assigned with an auction that began on May 5 and divided into three phases: in the first, non-visible offers were accepted, in the second the participants had to exceed the amount now visible and on June 12 the auction was started live streaming on YouTube, which was attended by nearly 7,600 people from 159 countries. At the start of the third phase, the highest bid was $ 4.8 million. In about 5 minutes, the sum has reached the final 28 million dollars that will be donated to the Club for the Future foundation. The other people who will make up the crew will be announced in the coming weeks.New Shepard is a reusable capsule that will take six people beyond the line of Karman, or the imaginary line that identifies the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space about one hundred kilometers. from the ground. The flight lasts about 11 minutes, after which the capsule and the Blue Origin 3 rocket will return to Earth. Blue Origin has so far carried out 15 test launches and is ready, with the sixteenth, to travel with a crew on board. Bezos said: “Seeing the earth from space is a changing experience. Change your relationship with this planet, with humanity. There is only one land. I want to be on this flight because that is what I have wanted to do all my life. It is an adventure. For me it is something important ”. All without forgetting Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The project recently sent a crew to the International Space Station aboard a reusable spacecraft and aims to launch its first civilian spaceflight by 2021. The SpaceX crew will consist of four people and will have the entrepreneur aboard. tech Jared Isaacman while the three places will be awarded with an auction whose proceeds will be donated to charity.
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