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The era of space tourism has officially begun. Richard Branson is the first billionaire to reach space in his own spacecraft thanks to his space tourism company, Virgin Galactic. He left the Earth on July 11, 2021 for a trip to the very edge of space where he got to experience weightlessness. Who will be the next billionaire to join him?
Richard Branson is ahead of the pack when it comes to space travel technology. He bought the tech that helped him launch his own ship from Microsoft’s Paul Allen, who won the Ansari X Prize in the early 2000s. Branson and his company worked for 17 years to make this dream a reality. Now the future of space tourism is ahead and companies from Blue Origin to SpaceX are launching flights that will let civilians leave Earth– if they can afford it.
Some estimates say tickets on Elon Musk’s flight could be as low as $100,000 per passenger, while Jeff Bezos’s company may charge $500,000. Those are just for trips to the edge of space or to orbit the moon. Trips to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Dragon capsule are even more expensive– about $55 million.
Will the wealthy be the only ones in space or will space tourism eventually become almost as easy as boarding a plane? It might be too early to tell but the space age is upon us and billionaires are leading the charge. This is everything you ever wanted to know about the billionaire space race.
Written by: Courtney Hayes
Narrated by: Craig Freeman
Animated by: Yaser Rabani
Edited by: Kristian Blaze
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00:31 The beginning of the Space Race
02:08 Richard Branson takes off
03:23 Welcome to the era of space tourism”