Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk
Getty Images Paul Hennessy SOPA Images| Reuters; Joe Raedle | Getty Images; Paul Hennessy | SOPA Images | Getty Images
Blue Origin was a major step towards suborbital tourism. However, Bezos and Branson took another. Virgin Galactic took a step back – putting the latter company at least a year behind the former in the niche market.
Blue Origin launched its second crewed spaceflight Wednesday – carrying two paying customers, as well as guest William Shatner. Virgin Galactic also announced the same day an unexpected schedule reorganization to spend eight to 10 months improving its vehiclesBy delaying spaceflight test results, the company officially confirmed it will not begin commercial service prior to late 2022.
In a Friday note to investors, Truist analyst Michael Ciarmoli stated that this “equates to lost momentum for the space tourism race due to the recent successes of SpaceX (Private), and Blue Origin (Private).”
The reality of today is not the same as the vision that was presented a few months back about the race for space tourism. Branson in July flew successfully to space with Virgin GalacticSimply nine days before Bezos launched with Blue Origin. It seemed like they were at one point neck and neck because of the duels in spaceflights.
Blue Origin flew its third and fourth customers three months after the launch of their New Shepard rocket. Virgin Galactic, however, has yet to fly one of the 600 individuals who has made reservations for future flight tickets.
Inspiration4 passengers pose with the Launch Complex 39A crew access arm, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. To the left are Commander Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux as well as Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski, mission specialists.
Notably Elon Musk’sSpaceX launched also and has returned four non-professional astronauts on the private Inspiration4 missionIn September
SpaceX’s experience is quite different from flying with Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin or Blue Origin.
SpaceX’s crew traveled further into orbit than any other spacecraft. They spent more time in orbit than they did on Earth. SpaceX is about $200m, which is based on $55 million NASA charges per mission. Virgin Galactic is $200,000-$450,000.
Blue Origin declined to reveal the prices its customers pay for their tickets. Blue Origin only provided an indication of its pricing structure through a public auction it held to purchase a seat on the first flight that was operated with Bezos. It sold for $28million. Since then, Bezos stated that Blue Origin has been a profitable company. sold nearly $100 million worth of ticketsNew Shepard flight.
CNBC’s Jared Isaacman (Inspiration4 mission commander) stressed that the launch of SpaceX with SpaceX wasn’t a “joyride.” The primary aim of the mission was to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the campaign has exceeded its goal – raising $238.5 million to date, including $125 million from Isaacman.
While Virgin Galactic may be falling behind Blue Origin in the suborbital market, Branson’s company has previously estimated that it sees demand from millions of high net worth individuals for spaceflights – far more than the two companies can supply in the next decade.
Some Wall Street analysts also shared that sentiment on Friday. They largely adhered to the existing estimates for Virgin Galactic’s stock price after the company’s delays.
Blue Origin, the competitor to Blue Origin, expects seven additional flights, at most 28 human, between now and 2023. This will have a minimal impact on their outstanding customer. [total addressable market]Austin Moeller, Canaccord Genuity Analyst, said that space tourism is feasible for suborbital orbits.
In total, 2021 was the year that 16 private companies launched non-professional astronauts into space. Four of these were with SpaceX and four with Virgin Galactic. Eight are with Blue Origin.
Blue Origin is also planning to launch its third New Shepard-crewed New Shepard flight by the end of this year. Additionally, in early 2022, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the Ax-1 mission for Axiom Space, which will carry a retired NASA astronaut and three paying passengers for a stay at the International Space Station – and Axiom has a deal in place for at least three more missionsAfterwards.
For more information, visit the companies’ different approaches to space tourism, click here