Pushing the Frontiers of Space: Difference Between Private Space Flights of @virgingalactic and @blueorigin


- By Arunita Banerjee (@Arunita_13)

(📸: Twitter/IANS) Image
On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the founder of Amazon, @JeffBezos, is all set to fly to the edge of space along with three others, aboard his company @blueorigin's New Shepard rocket.
Surpassing the #troposphere and #stratosphere, the space flights of @blueorigin will fly to the edge of space, about 100 km above the Earth’s mean sea level—the Karman line, also called the ‘edge of space’. Image
The spaceflight that @virgingalactic's founder Richard Branson took as part of #Unity22 on July 11 did not go beyond the Karman Line.
Comparing spaceflight capabilities of Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin

Most @virgingalactic spacecraft has a jet-powered aircraft docked underneath. The carrier aircraft takes off from a runway and climbs to an altitude of more than 40,000 feet. Image
Then the spacecraft is dropped, free-falling briefly before firing its rocket motor and ascending to about 295,000 feet, or roughly 90 kilometres, which is 10 kilometres short of the Karman line.
.@blueorigin's rocket-and-capsule combo, called the #NewShepard, shoots into suborbital space and then separates its components. The pressurised capsule floats in microgravity for a while before falling back to Earth assisted by a parachute system. Image
This domed capsule boasts six observation windows一the largest ever used in a space travel vestibule. The 60-foot tall rocket section returns to the launchpad, and the company can reuse this booster rocket for future launches.
The #VirginGalactic space-planes can accommodate 4 passengers, with 2 additional crew members. On the other hand, the #BlueOrigin rockets are designed for 10-minute fully autonomous flights, with at most 6 passengers on board. Image
.@SpaceX has already entered the orbital tourism arena一a feat restricted to government-funded agencies for more than half a century一taking crew and passengers up to 400 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
The @SpaceX launch system uses a larger capsule and more powerful rocket compared to the @blueorigin combo.
Its ‘Dragon’ capsule can carry more passengers than the others一7 at the moment一and a 230-foot tall rocket booster called #FalconRocket, which it uses to reach the Earth’s orbit and make trips around the #Earth. Image
The @SpaceX trips also last longer than the other private space travel options, with trips lasting about 3-4 days from launch to splashdown.
.@SpaceX is currently working on building a starship capable of carrying cargo with up to 100 passengers at a time to outer space. #SpaceX's charter flights will soon begin missions to the #Moon, and eventually to #Mars.

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