The Billion Dollar Space Race

The+Billion+Dollar+Space+Race

Michael Varriale, Staff Writer

Bezos and Blue Origin

Have you ever wanted to go to space? Now you can for the low price of 55 million dollars. Jeff Bezos is selling tickets to go to space with his new company, Blue Origin.  

Bezos originally founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the purpose of sending customers to space in a cheaper and safer way.  Space.com says that since the company’s creation, they developed “a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing rocket ship that could pop passengers into suborbital space.” Bezos is dedicating his Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons to updating and discussing Blue Origin.

One of Jeff Bezos’ main goals with his company is to open up a space business park called Orbital Reef. According to bbc.com, “Blue Origin said the 32,000 sq ft station would provide customers with an ideal location for ‘film-making in microgravity’ or ‘conducting cutting-edge research’ and said it would also include a space hotel.”  Nasa is looking to hire a company to replace the 20-year-old International space station (ISS) due to lots of repairs and simply being outdated; this new space station could be a great advancement for space exploration and development. He plans to open this between 2025 and 2030.

Other space exploration companies such  as Nanoracks, Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin, and Space X also have their eyes on this new space station. Space X just recently signed a $2.9 billion contract with NASA. 

Celebs in Space

On October 13, 2021, William Shatner became the oldest person to ever go into space. The former Star Trek star turned his dreams to reality when he boarded the Blue Origin rocket. Shatner was fortunate enough to be considered a “honorary guest” and didn’t have to pay but says he was willing to pay a lot. After returning, Shatner said, “In an instant you go, whoa, that’s death. That’s what I saw.” Shatner recently created a Netflix documentary called “Shatner in Space,” detailing what it was like to go to space.

Just a few short months after Shatners adventure, former NFL player and current TV host Michael Strahan took to the skies and ventured to space. Strahan was also considered an “honorary guest” and was lucky enough to avoid the multi million dollar bill. The former NFL star spent a total of ten minutes going to space, which makes you ask, is it worth all the money? 

Worthwhile or a Waste?

A lot of good can come from all this new space travel. To start, this can be a big step into furthering space and travel technology. Billions of dollars are getting dumped into sending these celebrities to space, which will help advance technology. Sara Mazrouei, a planetary scientist and educational developer at Ryerson University in Toronto said, “The last space race that we had to get to the moon gave us the technology for our running shoes, for our foam mattresses, for our bulletproof vests.” With all these trips, new space will be explored. As these companies go further and further they will uncover new areas of space which could hold new species, land, and maybe even civilizations. 

Space travel is also introducing lots of benefits for the environment and mankind, and billions of dollars are being spent. But is that a top priority? There are global issues going on, such as climate change, which could use the money being put into space travel. According to Cbc.ca, “Experts say that certain chemicals in rocket fumes are getting trapped in the stratosphere and are eating away at our ozone layer.” All this space travel can be having a bad effect on the environment and with these launches becoming more frequent it can cause a big problem.

As for the future of Blue Origin and Space travel, there are limitless possibilities and no telling what to expect. If Bezos’ plan for Orbital Reef becomes a reality this could lead to many more people heading to space and possibly lowering the price to make it more affordable for the average person.

 

* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license

 

Sources:

https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews/post/billionaires-in-space-the-pros-and-cons-of-space-tourism/

https://www.space.com/michael-strahan-blue-origin-space-launch-reaction

https://www.vox.com/recode/22589197/space-travel-tourism-bezos-branson-rockets-blue-origin-virgin-galactic-spacex

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/27/jeff-bezos-doubles-blue-origin-time-to-focus-more-on-his-space-company.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/13/tech/william-shatner-space-blue-origin-everything-you-need-to-know-scn/index.html