“Space, the final frontier” are words uttered by Captain Kirk aboard the USS Enterprise and on Wednesday, that actor William Shatner etched his name into the history of space exploration.
Blue Origin, a spaceflight company founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had its second successful civilian crewed trip to space in two months. After blasting off to heights of 68 miles in the air the entire journey took about 10 minutes before touching down gently at the Blue Origin facility in Texas. At 90 years old, Shatner becomes the oldest person to ever reach outer space.
Blue Origin is one of a few companies that is offering commercial space flight.
David Neville, the marketing director at the San Diego Air and Space Museum said the key for these companies to keep spaceflight accessible and profitable is making sure everything comes back down to earth safely.
"The big story that's getting missed a little bit today is the reusability of the booster rocket," said Neville. "Blue Origin have created booster rockets that send people up into space and then they come back down and land. And the last couple of times, both for space and Blue Origin, they've landed basically on the X that was waiting for them."
While space flight on a semi-regular basis is now possible, it doesn’t mean it’s accessible to me and you. While William Shatner was comped his ticket into outer space, two of his crewmates head multimillion-dollar companies. Neville said that profitability brings can bring innovation to the fledgling industry.
"It's really important for the future of mankind for us to be able to understand what it takes for us to successfully leave this planet and survive," said Neville.
Space X and Virgin Atlantic are among the other private companies that offer commercial spaceflight. NASA, a governmental agency has its own agenda, to eventually go back to the moon. Neville said it’s crucial that we all work together to take that giant leap for mankind.
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