Billionaire vs billionaire: a space opera

It’s the most absurd billionaire version of a dick-swinging contest race to be first. 🤭 Richard Branson is planning to fly out to space this Sunday, narrowly beating Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos to it. Bezos, as we previously told you, last month announced his plans to board his company Blue Origin’s first human launch to space on 20 July. Now Branson will beat him to it by nine days, becoming the first billionaire to travel to space. 

On 1 July, Virgin Galactic announced plans to launch the VSS unity spaceship with Branson tagging along for the ride. 

By space, we don’t quite mean Mars. Branson will make the trip 50 miles above the earth, which the US government considers to mark the boundary of outer space, while Bezos’ trip will be 60 miles above the earth. 

However, Virgin Galactic’s CEO, Michael Colglazier, insisted this was no competition. “There is nothing about a space race or ‘Who goes first?’ that played into this. We do our test flights when we’re ready to fly them.” 
Meanwhile, this past Monday marked the date that Bezos – AKA the richest person in the world – retired as Amazon CEO…  aged 57, and with $196 billion. Must be nice. Hopefully, working conditions will improve for thousands of Amazon warehouse employees who live on food stamps and toil in poor conditions.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 08 July 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.