Space tourism: dangerous and difficult to master technologies

DECRYPTION – In their quest for space, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have taken different alternatives with the hope of winning the technological battle.

Beyond the clash of egos between Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, the battle for space tourism is also technical, with radically different choices. Virgin Galactic bet everything on a space plane, equipped with a rocket engine and released at high altitude by a carrier plane, while Blue Origin preferred a very classic configuration in the space world: a capsule, carried by a rocket which takes off vertically and a return to Earth slowed down by parachutes.

Why such different choices? Richard Branson relied on the technology that was used to win the 2004 X-Prize, an award for the first private company capable of sending people into space. The project was at the time financed by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, under the technical direction of Burt Rutan, true legend of aeronautics, inventor of several planes of record.

“The choice of the New Shepard rocket by Blue Origin is completely different, explains Christophe Bonnal,

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