Space News: Branson Determined to Beat Bezos to Space, China's First Crewed Mission in 4 Years, and More!

By Cje95 | Texas Living | 13 Jun 2021


Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson is not going to do down without a fight.... Branson is widely known as the billionaire who likes to break world record for fun. He created Virgin Galactic to ferry people to the edge of space and allow them to experience zero g. A huge plus to the way that he was going about it was that it was going to be much more affordable to the masses as ticket went on sale some years ago now at $250,000 a ticket. 

 

For a while Virgin Galactic looked to be the first to get civilians to space an mass but Blue Origin rapidly developed and shot right past them. Branson was not going to take this laying down though and since Blue Origins announcement has pushed Virgin Galactic to finish testing and put him into space! The option that seems to have gained the most credibility is that Bezos would fly on the next test flight over the July 4th weekend thus allowing him to beat Bezos to space. For this to happen though Branson would have to get additional FAA approval for Branson to be the first spaceflight participant. If they are able to get this done this would allow Branson to beat Bezos however Blue Origin would still win in getting paying participants into space. 

 

China Space Program

China will soon be sending it first astronauts to their brand new space station. While only the core stage is currently in orbit the Chinese goverment is gearing up to launch a three person crew up to it in the next few weeks. Naturally with how China operates they have not even named the primary or backup crews yet nor when the launch is expected to take place. 

 

It has been four years since the last time China put any of its own people into space so this will be a huge advancement for their program. It will also seek to show how their station that they are building will be even better then the ISS. With how the COVID pandemic has changed the world China is desperate for good news and to be able to show how advanced their program is and try to get others to sign onto their new station. 

 

 

United Launch Alliance's Next Gen Rocket has Engine Issues

After Russia annex Crimea the US slapped sanction on the country including its space industry. It ended up having to lift/alter some of them due to the fact that at the time ULA launched the majority of the United States payloads and they relied on Russian engines. When the decisions where made to allow for more Russia engines ULA had to develop a new rocket that would not rely on Russia components. 

 

They chose to outsource the design and manufacturing to another company the ever growing in popularity..... Blue Origin. The issue with the main engine has not been made available from what I can find and I doubt the company would come forward with it by themselves. These issues are a huge concern for ULA as they can only use the Russian engines until 2022 and they were awarded a contract last year to launch government satellites with this new gen rocket Vulcan. This engine delay could cost them missing the necessary certification that the rocket has to complete this year. If they do no do so I have no idea what would/could happen. The biggest winner though would be SpaceX who has the other contracts. This would be a huge embarrassment to Bezos as it would be another time that Blue Origin lost to SpaceX.

 

Blue Origin could also become the target of more examples of SpaceX's superiority by Musk and others in his circle. Blue Origin so far is failing at producing an engine while SpaceX has gone through countless variations and has completed designed and flown many more. Even if he beats Musk to space any additional loss to SpaceX would be a tough pill to swallow as it really seems to be that SpaceX always wins.

 

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Cje95
Cje95

Graduated from Texas A&M in May of 2020 had dabbled in crypto since 2017 but dove in at the end of 2019. December of 2020 packed up and moved to D.C.! Huge sports fan, space nerd, and international newsreader! Follow me on Twitter @Cje95_


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