How dangerous is sending Jeff Bezos to the edge of space?

A Blue Origin spokesperson declined to answer questions from WIRED about the type of training the Bezos brothers would receive in advance of their flight, and about how the capsule’s control and navigation would work, instead referring to us as: A page on their website It states that New Shepard has conducted 15 successful flights, including three tests of the capsule’s abort system that will allow it to separate from the missile if something goes wrong on the launch pad or in flight.

Virgin Galactic VSS Alone It’s like a rocket plane with wings. The six-seater aircraft is flown in polished chrome to an altitude of about 50,000 feet by a custom-made twin-body aircraft called white night. The rocket plane blasts out from under the plane, then turns its engines on for 60 seconds to blast off to the 50-mile-high edge of space, drifting there for a few minutes of joy. Once it reaches its highest point, the rear half of the car folds upward, creating a High-drag, dynamically stable design which allows the vehicle to float like a feather feather. The increased drag keeps the vehicle at a low speed, while the folded shape ensures that the vehicle maintains the proper position. Then, after it slows down and reaches a lower height, the wings fold back down. The spacecraft returns to its original position and lands like an airplane on a runway, in this case, at Virgin’s New Mexico spaceport. The entire trip takes about 90 minutes from start to finish, and there is no bathroom on board.

This year’s Virgin Galactic route of human flights has seen some fatal setbacks. Alone It is the company’s second spacecraft. In 2007, three employees of Scaled Composites, a company that builds the craft for Virgin, were killed at the Mojave Desert facility during early testing of SpaceShipTwo rocket engines. Scaled Composites was funded by Branson at the time.

In 2014, a later version of the SpaceShipTwo exploded mid-air, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the pilot during testing. Federal accident investigators Inadequate design safeguards, lax regulatory oversight, and a potential co-pilot found concern lacking modern flight experience as important factors in the accident. At the time, Virgin officials said they were making changes to the system so that it could Wing position cannot be released prematurely by either pilot, an event that led to the crash, according to a federal investigation.

Despite these incidents, Virgin Galactic did not give up, offering the latest—And a successful crew trip from VSS Alone In late May. AloneThe latest version of the SpaceShipTwo has been modified to increase safety measures, including a cabin pressure system that will maintain life support if something happens during any part of the flight. The spacecraft also includes an escape system for crew and passengers, according to Aliana Crane, Virgin Galactic’s vice president of communications.

Just prior to takeoff, Crane added, Branson and the other passengers will undergo three days of training at Virgin’s New Mexico spaceport for flight procedures and review.

Virgin is analyzing data from the May 22 flight before planning the next flight, which will require an FAA license. This means that it remains unclear whether Branson will reach space before Bezos’ planned July 20 flight. “We will have three additional test flights, two of which are in the summer,” said Crane from London. “One of them will be Richard on board.”

The third test flight will involve three members of the Italian Air Force for a research mission.

NASA astronauts say flying a short, suborbital flight is different from traveling to the International Space Station. NASA vehicles such as the now retired Space Shuttle or the new SpaceX Crew Dragon rely on many support rockets to get them into orbit, as well as complex life support, propulsion, navigation, and Avionics Systems That tells the missile where to go. Some of these systems are automated; Others require a trained pilot, such as while docking with the International Space Station. In contrast, the two new commercial spacecraft are simpler to design and operate, according to Doug Hurley, the NASA astronaut who commanded the spacecraft. The first Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station In May 2020, with colleague Bob Behnken.

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