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Richard Branson Reaches Space on VSS Unity

ManaByte

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Sir Richard Branson, after nearly 17 years of development and over a billion of dollars invested in Virgin Galactic, achieved his dream and reached space.

Speaking from the spacecraft’s cabin, Branson called the spaceflight the “complete experience of a lifetime.”

The company’s spacecraft VSS Unity launched above the skies of New Mexico on Sunday, with two pilots guiding the vehicle carrying the billionaire founder and three Virgin Galactic employees. VSS Unity – after being released by a carrier aircraft called VMS Eve above 40,000 feet – fired its rocket engine and accelerated to faster than the speed of sound in a climb to the edge of space.


Meanwhile at Blue Origin:
 

Paulxo87

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He didn't even breach the 100km international space line. zero gravity for less than two minutes - they could not even stay up there for the advertised 4 minutes. don't get me started on the cringe livestream. nothing special was accomplished today except for the stroking of a sad mans ego
 

Truespeed

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I didn't know entering space for a couple of minutes was all that was required to call yourself an astronaut. I need that on my resume.
 

MastaKiiLA

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Hmm, it just flew really high in a plane designed with lots of windows, definitely not into space or even near space.

Disappointing really, especially when Space X are doing the real deal.
This and one of the Blue Origins rockets are meant to be suborbital. I think it reached 80km, which is technically space. The international Karman line is 100km, but it's not used by everyone. The difference between 80km and 100km is meaningless, if you're talking about air pressure or gravity.

Anyway, these suborbital flights are designed to go straight up and down. They're not trying to go to orbit. You need a lot more rocket thrust, and you have a lot more complexity with regards to landing, because you're going hella fast. So suborbital is cheaper and easier, but it's still space.

Getting to space and getting to orbit are different things, but you're still at altitudes where you need gas thrusters to maneuver, and can't breath outside because the atmosphere is insanely thin.
 
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Jun 16, 2018
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Congrats Branson... the future is looking bright for the Space race. Now sell me a ticked.
Space race starts and ends with nanotechnology, true nanotech, molecular machines. They bring cost down to zero and allow space colonization to take place. One key vital technology leading to another. IT'd take decades with hundreds of engineers to design artificial molecular machines to rival biology. But AI, an intelligence explosion can accomplish this within years, true ai = end of space race end of history.

 
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The contest is pretty bizarre "Anyone of any gender and ethnicity will have equal access to space" ... to do what? lol outside of the contest, there aint shit to do up there. How many millions of dollars and how many dozens of people(stationed on earth) are required to support astronauts already currently working/living on the ISS?

This billionaire space race is super fucking weird. Nothing is going to even happen not even in our childrens lifetime in regards to realistic space travel for "anyone of any gender and ethnicity" as long as they're also a billionaire. Humans fucked up Earth despite scientist warnings for decades and now billionaires are scrambling to try and appear as heroes for the human race. lol
 
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Scotty W

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Can't wait to hear from a bunch of exceedingly rich people how exceedingly incredible it is.


For anyone else who’s had enough of everything they can see on Earth and can afford to leave it behind, space tourism has finally arrived. For an astronomical price, you will soon be able to take a suborbital space cruise with Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic. If you want to go even farther, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will have a glass-domed observation deck available for the passengers it’s shuttling to the International Space Station for an eight-day stay at $55 million a piece. Just beware that while the risks of staying on Earth grow every day, those of going into space are too great for insurance companies to cover.

No doubt there’s value to all space exploration, and the knowledge and advances that come from private companies will benefit the public. But the stratification of who gets to leave the stratosphere is not another division we need.
 

SJRB

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I hate everything about this with a passion. A tasteless carnival ride for the ultra rich that serves no scientific or humanitarian purpose. Both Branson and Bezos could've used their immense wealth for the good of mankind but chose to opt for thrill rides as a vanity project, that turned even more pathetic when it became an "arms race" between the two.

Well they can all fuck off into space for all I care.

It's just such a stark contrast with what Elon has been doing.
 

CloudNull

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Damn son.... so much negativity in this thread. Fantastic read outlining the criticism and benefits of the industry being built right now. I had no idea Bezos wanted to use BO to start space mining.... I wonder if this is why he stepped down as CEO at Amazon.

 

OmegaSupreme

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Men_in_Boxes

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Can anyone explain to me why this is noteworthy? Haven't we been somewhat consistently been participating in space travel for 60+ years? Is this more a news story for Virgin specifically?

Edit: Egg on face. My answer is located in this very thread.
 
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CrankyJay™

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The livestream was the worst thing I have ever witnessed. Stephen Colbert ruined a historic moment.

Anyway, the flight itself was cool. If a little underwhelming (It basically goes up to near space and just falls back down).

Basically sums it up. Colbert was weird. The livestream was awful. It was underwhelming.

I'm hoping Amazon's presentation is better (I'm sure it will be), but I can guarantee they will fluff Bezos the same way Branson was.
 
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The contest is pretty bizarre "Anyone of any gender and ethnicity will have equal access to space" ... to do what? lol outside of the contest, there aint shit to do up there. How many millions of dollars and how many dozens of people(stationed on earth) are required to support astronauts already currently working/living on the ISS?

This billionaire space race is super fucking weird. Nothing is going to even happen not even in our childrens lifetime in regards to realistic space travel for "anyone of any gender and ethnicity" as long as they're also a billionaire. Humans fucked up Earth despite scientist warnings for decades and now billionaires are scrambling to try and appear as heroes for the human race. lol
Amen.

Space exploration and people walking on the moon is boring already. It seems space flight above orbit is a glorified 747 ride. So instead of being 10km high looking down and seeing clouds, you'll now be 100 km high looking down and seeing clouds.

Now if they want to make billionaire pissing matches into 2 minutes rides into passenger frontiers, make a drilling machine and see how far Branson and gang can go down into the Earth before melting. I'd watch that.
 

Fbh

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Pretty cool.
But even if I was a billionaire I'd wait until you can get to proper space and maybe be a day up there
 

Skyfox

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Congrats to Branson. I see it as a step forward for space travel.

By the way our progress in space travel is dogshit. We need to do better.

It's a matter of massive success and opportunity versus dying in our cradle as a species. Two only important missions for humanity:

Restore our eco system
Branch out beyond earth

Nothing. Nothing is more important.
 

Great Hair

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A common definition of space is known as the Kármán Line, an imaginary boundary 100 kilometers (62 miles) above mean sea level. In theory, once this 100 km line is crossed, the atmosphere becomes too thin to provide enough lift for conventional aircraft to maintain flight. At this altitude, a conventional plane would need to reach orbital velocity or risk falling back to Earth.

The world governing body for aeronautic and astronautic records, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), and many other organizations use the Kármán Line as a way of determining when space flight has been achieved.

The U.S. military and NASA define space differently. According to them, space starts 12 miles below the Kármán Line, at 50 miles above Earth's surface. If we define getting to space by the strictest of terms—that is, by escaping Earth's atmosphere completely—you may have to travel over 600 miles or more to the outermost layer of the atmosphere to reach it.

Someone with less money did it over a decade ago ....
 

YCoCg

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not so sure why there is so much fucking hatred and bitching for someone doing this.
Because it's now just playful competition for billionaires to see who can piss about in Space the most, meanwhile they still don't pay taxes and things on Earth is still going to shit and the rest of us will never see this, but good on them eh?
 
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CloudNull

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Because it's now just playful competition for billionaires to see who can piss about in Space the most, meanwhile they still don't pay taxes and things on Earth is still going to shit and the rest of us will never see this, but good on them eh?
I bet people said the same thing about the first flights.... this sets the groundwork for a future industry. It will get cheaper and the prices will come down. SpaceX has already lowered the cost of launching satellites making it achievable to many small companies that normally would never dreamed of it.

Virgin is trying to create a space tourism business... who knows if they have a sustainable business model but only time will tell.
 

eyesabitdull

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Lmao guys, some of ya'll are losers for making noise on how "it's not really space, what's to celebrate about" while you type away your sentences.

The guy did something very very very very few of us have, and will even be close to, a personal journey to see our earth above the clouds as an individual who wanted to do so - and not just a man hired and trained by the government to go on a space mission.

Like what the fuck do you guys need to acknowledge the actual gravity of this news?

You, a fucking individual, can now have the dream to want to see our planet from a height thought impossible - a dream that has existed for centuries - and can earn the means to live that dream if you so choose to dedicate your life to accumulate the wealth it requires to do so.

Every single photo you've ever seen of Earth from space can now be seen in person, with your own goddamn eyes.

If that doesn't excite you, then please continue to breathing while others make way for the future you will undoubtedly will only complain and moan about anyway.
 

Christopher

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Because it's now just playful competition for billionaires to see who can piss about in Space the most, meanwhile they still don't pay taxes and things on Earth is still going to shit and the rest of us will never see this, but good on them eh?

It’s not your money why are you worried about it?
 

YCoCg

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I bet people said the same thing about the first flights.... this sets the groundwork for a future industry. It will get cheaper and the prices will come down. SpaceX has already lowered the cost of launching satellites making it achievable to many small companies that normally would never dreamed of it.

Virgin is trying to create a space tourism business... who knows if they have a sustainable business model but only time will tell.
The travel aspect is nice, but I'm also in a country that uses Virgin Trains and that leaves some doubt, if they can't get a train to a place on time then I don't have faith in them getting people in and out of space on the regular! :pie_roffles:

It’s not your money why are you worried about it?
Because they don't pay into the system that benefit the average person the most. We're in a world where I pay more tax on my earnings than Branson, Bezos, the entireity of Apple, Amazon, etc. IF they paid their proper taxes, then fair game, do what you like with the rest, I have no issue with spending money on crazy things.