It’s so cute isn’t it? Two of the richest people in the world having a little high-profile spat over their toy rockets capabilities.
Lost in the “I want to be first” race into space between Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson is the fact that they are attempting some pretty dangers missions in order to satisfy their bizarre jonesing for flying into space.
By now you know the details. Bezos was set to fly into space on Blue Origin rocket on July 22, but never one to miss out on a death-defying publicity stunt, Richard Branson cuts the line on Bezos and moves his mission up to July 13, for the sole reason of doing it first.
Here’s where things get really petty. Annoyed at being one-upped by the Brit, Blue Origin took some shots at Virgin Galactic Friday night.
The bone of contention is what defines space, and if in fact Branson is actually flying into it on Sunday.
Bezos’ Blue Origin company insists that space starts at the Karman line: an imaginary marker that is located 62 miles above sea level. That is what many credible organizations have determined is when you are actually in space.
Bezos will be going above the Karman line July 22nd.
Branson’s flight stops before the line, at about 55 miles above ground.
Blue Origin said in a series of tweets that the Karman line is so universally accepted as the entry into space, that only 4% of the world recognizes 50 miles as the beginning of space.
Bezos actually mentioned this two years ago in an interview with space.com
“We’ve always had as our mission that we wanted to fly above the Kármán line, because we didn’t want there to be any asterisks next to your name about whether you’re an astronaut or not. That’s something they [Virgin Galactic] are going to have to address, in my opinion.”
Is there a clear cut winner in this tete-e-tete? Um, yeah. It would appear that Bezos is flying into space, and Branson isn’t.