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Old 20th July 2021, 23:12   #1
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Default Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, created history today (20th July 2021) by flying to space. This comes within days after Richard Branson rocketed to space in his Virgin Galactic.

The rocket named New Shepard was developed by Jeffís company Blue Origin. The rocket propelled over 100 KM above the skies of Texas. This is Blue Originís first ever jaunt of carrying people to space. Blue Origin has conducted 15 successful test flights over the past 6 years without people on board before attempting this historic flight.

It was a visual treat to watch the rocket and the capsule in action that lasted just over 10 minutes. The capsule detached from the rocket at an altitude of about 75 KM. Both continued to coast upward to over 100 KM, passing boundary of outer space.

All 4 passengers unbuckled and floated around the capsule, experiencing about four minutes of free fall. The booster landed vertically, spot-on to the designated area on the ground. The capsule then descended under 3 parachutes and touched down safely within seconds. Ground staff then ďearthedĒ the capsule before letting the crew out. Interestingly, the rocket and capsule are reusable! The rocket launches vertically from the ground and is more eco-friendly than Virgin Galactic's air-launched spaceplane, which emits greenhouse gases and soot.

Mark Bezos, who is Jeffís brother was onboard as well. The other two passengers included a Dutch student named Oliver Daemen, who was Blue Originís first paying passenger; and Mary Wallace Funk, a pilot who in the 1960s was among a group of women who passed the same rigorous astronaut selection criteria employed by NASA but who, until today, never had the chance to board a rocket. At 18, Oliver Daemen was the youngest person ever to go to space. At 82, Mary Funk was the oldest.

All passengers were euphoric after the flight. No signs of tiredness even after experiencing pressure of up to 5G during descent. Jeff, apart from thanking his engineers, thanked Amazon customers saying they are the ones who paid for Blue origin. Pat on the back to all of us.

Link to launch event:


Post-flight press conference (includes footage of crew floating in space at 18:00 min in the video):
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Old 21st July 2021, 06:36   #2
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Friends,

Bear with me while I place a contrarian view. Let's stay with the facts and not the hyperbole use of terms by the PR agencies of Branson & Bezos. If a pilot went up to the altitude of the highest clouds in the atmosphere would you call it outer space or even inner space.

Jeff Bezos blasted off into space a week after Richard Branson went up. Another small step for billionaires.

Once upon a time people like Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Rakesh Sharma were blasted into space. None was selected on the basis of income or wealth, but on skill and rigorous training. Their heroism — and we regarded them as world heroes — symbolizing human kinds quest for discovery.

Today’s space race could not be more different. Bezos, Musk, and Branson aren’t “we.” There's no common good in their achievement. They symbolize the extreme apex of wealth, some of it gained by paying their workers rock-bottom wages and shutting out competitors and (at least in case of Amazon) gaming the Govt. They’re like the robber barons of the first Gilded Age – Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller – whose conspicuous fortunes were founded on wage suppression, union-busting, and monopolization, and whose toys were the first motor cars and airplanes and private yachts.

Those of us in the aviation industry know only too well that these two aren’t even developing new technology. They are simply reusing technology already created by other pioneers lesser known, Burt Rutan being a classic example. These hyper billionaires are bored with buying a bigger yacht, a bigger chateau or yet another private island. They need something bigger to mark their egos on. What frontier better than space. And their PR is spinning the story as if this is some landmark achievement for the progress of mankind. And we the hungry consumers of the media don't know better.

And they aren't even going into inner space let alone outer space as claimed by their PR agencies. The layer of the atmosphere that is still real atmosphere with water vapour and clouds is the mesosphere that goes upto~ 300kms. Traces of the atmosphere continue till~ 1500 kms. Inner space starts at 300kms upwards. Branson went up to 86 kms. And Bezos to 107 kms for all of a few minutes. Outer space, diddly squat. Squadron pilots of the US, Soviet and Indian Air Forces regularly flew their SR-71 and MiG-25 jets to 24, 27, 29 and at least twice 35/38 kms up without spending a billion $ and while doing real recce sorties for their nations. 60 years ago Yuri Gagrin orbited at ~ 327 kms.

At least in Branson's case no new technology has been developed. Burt Rutan an aviation pioneer had developed what became Branson's machine and flew it 17 years ago as a real technology demonstrator. Everyone in aviation knows of Rutan but he was not interested in PR biz spin . Branson bought that design, tweaked it a bit and is positioning himself as a space pioneer when all he managed with all this noise is to get only a hairs width above what our pilots did routinely. There are cheaper ways of achieving weightlessness for 4 minutes. Here I will credit Bezos for genuinely trying to develop a cheaper re-usable rocket which actually can become a serious commercial platform for space research.

75 to 100 kms up is the highest you can go while still flying with some aerodynamic lift of your wings and staying within the maximum sustainable speed within the atmosphere of Mach 3. This altitude of 75 to 100 kms up is also the lowest at which partial weightlessness can be experienced. So that is why Bran-Bez aimed for this common zone between the highest an aircraft/rocket can fly without needing to get to a speed of 11 kms/ second needed to break out of gravity and yet the lowest at which noticeably less gravity can be experienced.

Others will disagree, and that is what forums are for, but I am from the old school that says if you have so much money and organization capability then there are a hundred more pressing problems on planet earth that need your attention and drive to succeed. At least in this respect people like Bill Gates, Azim Premji and Scott Mackenzie have their head and heart in the right place. They understand that if your hard work, luck & destiny has placed untold wealth in your hands then you are a trustee of the wealth for using it to help others less fortunate. 150 years ago Jamshedji Tata started this concept of trusteeship of wealth.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 21st July 2021 at 06:43.
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Old 21st July 2021, 07:45   #3
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

I was watching the launch and touchdown when they were telecasting yesterday. Must say, the whole process went like clockwork, almost like getting into a car and going upto a point and returning.

What kept me wondering was, when the booster rocked landed vertically and safely, why did the capsule have to detach once it reached a specific altitude? Couldn't both remain together and land vertically. From the first post here, it seems the booster rocket too went to a similar altitude even after it detached from the capsule.


@V.Narayan sir, Thank you for the informative post on the earths atmosphere and how far is considered inner and outer space and other specifics.
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Old 21st July 2021, 08:11   #4
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Others will disagree, and that is what forums are for, but I am from the old school that says if you have so much money and organization capability then there are a hundred more pressing problems on planet earth that need your attention and drive to succeed. At least in this respect people like Bill Gates, Azim Premji and Scott Mackenzie have their head and heart in the right place. They understand that if your hard work, luck & destiny has placed untold wealth in your hands then you are a trustee of the wealth for using it to help others less fortunate. 150 years ago Jamshedji Tata started this concept of trusteeship of wealth.
Agree with the part about there being no technology marvel or heroism in this news. They haven't invented much to be able to do this. Nor do they posses any special skills to pull this off other than being rich. And where they have reached is probably not actual space. But even with all that, I think this is special. Because this is the beginning of space being accessible to people with out special skills or work with the government.

Disagree with the search for common good in this feat though. I don't think there is any value add in searching for the common good in a news like this. If that was the case, we should search for common good everytime someone posts the ownership review of a luxury car. The ultra rich people like Besos probably are spending only a small fraction of their money on this compared to the proportion of our net worth that we spend on cars. And we don't know how much they or our friends are spending for common good. So I think it is better we enjoy these moments as the onset of space tourism and not bother about common good.

Last edited by padmrajravi : 21st July 2021 at 08:15.
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Old 21st July 2021, 08:27   #5
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Once upon a time people like Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Rakesh Sharma were blasted into space.
None of them spent their own money to build the rockets either no?

Quote:
None was selected on the basis of income or wealth, but on skill and rigorous training.
Skill and training? Wait what? Didn't we have a discussion the other day on the forum where majority of the members agreed people should be given jobs in in F1 based on their skin color? Without talking about skill or calibre?

Quote:
Theyíre like the robber barons of the first Gilded Age Ė Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller Ė whose conspicuous fortunes were founded on wage suppression, union-busting, and monopolization, and whose toys were the first motor cars and airplanes and private yachts.
So these dudes created jobs. Can't have wages and unions without jobs. And in 2021 there are laws to ensure the illegal and immoral practises can no longer be implemented.

Quote:
At least in Branson's case no new technology has been developed. Burt Rutan an aviation pioneer had developed what became Branson's machine and flew it 17 years ago as a real technology demonstrator. Everyone in aviation knows of Rutan but he was not interested in PR biz spin . Branson bought that design, tweaked it a bit and is positioning himself as a space pioneer
So when Branson bought, Rutan got paid. I would say that's a fair exchange (presuming the sale was voluntary). If it was I don't see any problem. And to draw parallels, Elon didn't found Tesla either. He invested in it.

Quote:
Others will disagree, and that is what forums are for, but I am from the old school that says if you have so much money and organization capability then there are a hundred more pressing problems on planet earth that need your attention and drive to succeed.
I never understood this. How come people expect private individuals to solve problems just because they are billionaires but never expect the same from politicians whose personal wealth is comparable to people like Richard or Jeff? At least they made their billions openly.

I wish the mods add a poll to this topic. How many members who think Jeff is a bad rich dude, shop on Amazon.
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Old 21st July 2021, 09:05   #6
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Friends,
Todayís space race could not be more different. Bezos, Musk, and Branson arenít ďwe.Ē There's no common good in their achievement. They symbolize the extreme apex of wealth, some of it gained by paying their workers rock-bottom wages and shutting out competitors and (at least in case of Amazon) gaming the Govt. Theyíre like the robber barons of the first Gilded Age Ė Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller Ė whose conspicuous fortunes were founded on wage suppression, union-busting, and monopolization, and whose toys were the first motor cars and airplanes and private yachts.

Others will disagree, and that is what forums are for, but I am from the old school that says if you have so much money and organization capability then there are a hundred more pressing problems on planet earth that need your attention and drive to succeed.
I personally agree with your views of trusteeship of wealth.

But reading the news of this space(!) flight on BBC, they don't seem to claim that it is for any noble purpose or for the good of the mankind. The news and all the hype they are trying to create simply appears to be for commercial purposes, to show the potential customers that such a flight can be taken by young as well as old people, to show that it is safe enough (they themselves took the flight).

So if it is business promotion without claiming to do charity, it shall be ok.
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Old 21st July 2021, 10:00   #7
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
...Traces of the atmosphere continue till~ 1500 kms.......


Yuri Gagrin orbited at ~ 327 kms.
I kept wondering what is missing that these 2 attempts made it seem so easy, then Sir, Your Post, made it obvious.

They havent gone go high that the reentry 'tandoor oven' effect was needed to be addresed, much less mitigated.

This seems more like a SR71 that went to the near edge of space some 60 years ago!

Like you said, The Toys just got bigger.
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Old 21st July 2021, 11:30   #8
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
And they aren't even going into inner space let alone outer space as claimed by their PR agencies. The layer of the atmosphere that is still real atmosphere with water vapour and clouds is the mesosphere that goes upto~ 300kms. Traces of the atmosphere continue till~ 1500 kms. Inner space starts at 300kms upwards. Branson went up to 86 kms. And Bezos to 107 kms for all of a few minutes. Outer space, diddly squat. Squadron pilots of the US, Soviet and Indian Air Forces regularly flew their SR-71 and MiG-25 jets to 24, 27, 29 and at least twice 35/38 kms up without spending a billion $ and while doing real recce sorties for their nations. 60 years ago Yuri Gagrin orbited at ~ 327 kms.
wow really? And all this time I was wondering how bold they must be to trust an experimental space technology. Yeesh!

But I don't think this is just rich man's timepass. Perhaps something interesting/useful will come out of this a few decades from now. US/Europe Govt and general public is no longer THAT interested in space. Even when NASA/ESA actually does something, there is barely any coverage in news media.

For eg: I don't think many people know that China has it own space station (like ISS) now. And it has been manned from the past month or so.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiangong_space_station

Now that billionaires have entered the picture, perhaps it will rekindle public interest in space like in the 1970s.

Last edited by SmartCat : 21st July 2021 at 11:33.
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Old 21st July 2021, 12:40   #9
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Well, I don't have any qualms with this space race. In fact, I support it. The more the entrants, the better the future prospects for the mango people. May be it'll take decades but that is still better than taking forever, considering the indifference of govt. space agencies.

Also, I don't understand why people hate the billionaires so much. If Bezoz wants to burn his millions away, let him. It is his money. Ditto with Musk, Branson or others.

Why are billionaires obligated to give away their money? If that is the case, most of the folks here having multiple vehicles would seem like millionaires to the paupers. Do they also give away their possessions? Let the rich have their fancies as long as their money is legally earned.

As for the charitable ones; well they too earn the good PR it generates. Case in point: Being Human.

To each his own.
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Old 21st July 2021, 19:15   #10
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Friends,
Jeff Bezos blasted off into space a week after Richard Branson went up. Another small step for billionaires.
Jeff Bezos is a self-made billionaire. He didnít inherit this wealth. He got his schooling and graduation done like a regular person. He also worked part time in Mc Donaldís during his high school days. He announced during his graduation that his dream was to create colonies in space where humans could live. He founded Amazon in his garage, and it was not an easy task building it to the size that it is right now. it was on the verge of bankruptcy at one point of time but recovered later. It is this manís vision, conviction, courage, and hard work that made it happen. Just think of the many ways that Amazon and AWS have changed the very fundamentals of a variety of things on our planet. He is a role model in his own right!

Now, coming to the space jaunt - New Shepard is one of Blue Originís early wins. Larger vision of Blue Origin is to benefit our planet. Hereís their vision statement from their website https://www.blueorigin.com/about-blue

To Benefit Earth
"Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth. In order to preserve Earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space. Blue is working on this today by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defense customers."

Today, this may seem impossible, irrelevant, or unnecessary waste of money. However, if you consider UNís prediction that worldís population would be 9.7 billion by 2050, we might not have enough space and resources on earth for future generations to live! So, Blue Originís vision makes perfect sense!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
What kept me wondering was, when the booster rocked landed vertically and safely, why did the capsule have to detach once it reached a specific altitude?
Unlike Virgin Galactic, New Shepard does not have any pilots. It is fully controlled by processors onboard. The capsule is designed to have a controlled environment for passengers and also includes window seat for each one to enjoy view of the planet from space. This would not be possible to achieve in the rocket launcher itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by padmrajravi View Post
If that was the case, we should search for common good everytime someone posts the ownership review of a luxury car.
Agree! Even a person having 10K bucks can do something good. Only a billionaire need not be a philanthropist. What a person does with his/her wealth is up to that individual.
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Old 21st July 2021, 20:12   #11
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

I donít like the public dictating how someone should spend their money but Iíll make an exception for Jeff Bezos. I would have no problem whatsoever with what heís doing if he can treat his employees fairly. The fact that this guy can go on a rocket trip but cannot manage to pay his overworked employees a living wage so that they can afford to just live their every day life is what irritates me the most.

And he has the audacity to thank the public for making it possible. As if the public willingly sponsored it out of the good of their hearts. Heís just rubbing it in, honestly.

Another point I see often posted everywhere is that Bezos pays no tax. This is untrue. Amazon as a company does avoid taxes as much as possible like other big tech. But he actually paid nearly a billion in taxes last year. Itís all capital gains tax but that is where all his wealth is anyway.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 01:43   #12
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Sorry for the upcoming snarky comment:

There is a lesson for our kids right there! If you study well and work hard enough, maybe one day, your billionaire boss would finally be able to go to space!

Let me get this straight - billionaires going to space is a good thing, because it sets precedent for the future of space travel but when the said billionaire makes his fortune by under-paying workers who work in horrible working conditions (by western standards), it just looks bad. Not all billionaires are made equal and the the responses weren’t nearly as negative with Richard Branson.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 11:05   #13
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

As many rightly mentioned both Branson and Bezos did it for their next line of business. It was nothing more than a PR stunt, from youngest to oldest in space to a message like Armstrong's "One small step" they knocked every door.

There is no denying the fact that a lot of time and money went into their space ventures and they are desperately looking at monetizing the same. To be with the latest trend, people would definitely want to try this out. I think space travel would be the next big thing.

Contrastingly, As a humble devotee of science, it wont be wrong if I call both their space ventures
"This biggest scam of the century, its suborbital and not space. A few minutes of weightlessness is not space travel"

Its as good as telling the world "I have been to Mt Everest", just by visiting the basecamp. My fingers crossed on Elon Musk`s space venture. He is planning a multiday space venture, and from what we know of him he is a true legend when it comes to delivering what he promises.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 12:05   #14
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
but I am from the old school that says if you have so much money and organization capability then there are a hundred more pressing problems on planet earth that need your attention and drive to succeed
Hello Sir - In reality, Branson Thaatha, Jeff mama & Annan Elon are actually tending to the problems on planet Earth - Population!!

These are part of the steps for mankind to become type 1/2/3 civilization (while we haven't even become type 1 civilization) & during that process towards type 1, we might run out of Earth. That's where Mars colonization project is on the pipeline

While it's the NASA & other space organization that has become stagnant until few rich boys restarted the game & I'm quite positive you're aware on the tie-ups between NASA & SpaceX.

So...all these race to space might looks jujubi for now, but, they're in store for a larger game that this planet has ever seen!

Sources of information
Planetary Civilization
Physics of the Future
Colonizing Mars
Future of Mankind
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Old 22nd July 2021, 12:45   #15
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Default Re: Blue Originís first manned flight to space

The richest men in the world, with all the money and technology at their disposal, are going up 100km in space when 60 years ago people walked on the moon, which is about 400,000 km away from the earth. 400 times the distance! There's no history being made here, unless the historical point being made is that government and public institutions are far more capable of innovation than private individuals or companies. Bezos and Musk talk big but if someone challenged them to go to the moon, have a walk and come back, they, despite their vast resources, simply cannot do so, no matter who they pay or recruit or what they buy. Only space organisations with that level of expertise, experience and funding can do that. And these guys dare to talk of going to Mars! The only reason this is being talked about with such enthusiasm in the media is that the very same rich men also own the media corporations. And that fact is more interesting (and concerning) and worthy of discussion than their "going to space."
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