Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Crew Capsule will take tourists into space

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin's space capsule

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Jeff Bezos’ space tourism project with Blue Origin is competing with a similar programme in development by Space X, the rocket firm founded and run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic, backed by Richard Branson.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.  

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and Blue Origin has successfully used a single New Shepard Rocket six times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), just above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff. 

Crewed missions for astronauts or tourists have yet to be announced.

SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.  

On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached. 

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission. 

SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network. 

Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected web of satellites around Earth which will beam down free internet to people all around the world. 

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a different approach to conquering space. 

It has repeatedly, and successfully, conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity spaceplane. 

The first took place in December 2018 and the latest took place on February 22nd.

The flight accelerated to over 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7). 

More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips, 

The billionaire mogul has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX. 

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it’s passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceship will then make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.  

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Warren County fire department makes history as all-female interior crew responds to call | Regional

WASHINGTON BOROUGH, N.J. – The Washington Borough Fire Department in Warren County, New Jersey made history last week when its first all-female interior crew responded to a call.

The department recently added three certified firefighters to its volunteer roster; all are women.

Destinee Hartrum, her cousin Stephanie Hartrum and Deanna Harrington said they didn’t plan to join at the same time but wanted to serve their communities. They have spent the better part of a year in fire school training to do so.

“There is over 100 years of fire service in my family, so I kind of felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Destinee.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fewer than 10% of firefighters are female. Washington Borough Chief Dirk Higgins estimates that number to be even smaller in Warren County.

“We have the ability to have role models that we can showcase to young girls in our community and say ‘hey, you can be a fire fighter too,'” Higgins said.

Deanna Harrington said she spent about five years working in EMS before attending the fire academy. And that while some people in the community may be surprised to see a woman under the gear, the rest of the Washington Borough department is not.

“You hear of stories from other women from other parts of the country but here I’ve never felt treated differently. I just feel just another one of the guys, a fire fighter, you get treated with equal respect. They know you can do your job; you know they can do their job and that’s what really matters,” Harrington said.

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