Sir Richard Branson has outrun Jeff Bezos in the race for the title of “First Billionaire To Go To Space”, following a successful test flight of the Virgin Galactic commercial rocket plane!
Just over a week after Branson’s announcement that he would be on-board the Unity 22 sub-orbital test-flight, he strapped up and shot off to space on Sunday 11th July, soaring 88.5 kilometres above the Earth.
Over 600,000 people watched the YouTube livestream of the event hosted by comedian Stephen Colbert, and I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Bezos happened to be one of them! Currently, the video boasts a hefty view count of just over 7 Billion views!
From the beginning, New Shepard was designed to fly above the Kármán line so none of our astronauts have an asterisk next to their name. For 96% of the world’s population, space begins 100 km up at the internationally recognized Kármán line. pic.twitter.com/QRoufBIrUJ
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 9, 2021
This puts Jeff Bezos in an unforeseen second place since his voyage to the stars is set to take place on July 20th on board the ‘New Shepard’ rocket developed by his own company, Blue Origin. However, Bezos and his company refused to go down without a fight.
They swiftly pointed out that although NASA defines space as being 80.5 Kilometres above sea level, the internationally recognised border between being on Earth and in space is at the Kármán line, which is at around 99.8 Kilometres. So, depending on who you ask, calling this voyage a ‘space flight’ is still in question, meaning there could still be hope for Bezos!