Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin, New Shepard, Wally Funk, Space Elon Musk would rather 'focus on building Starship' than travel into space: Senior Space Editor
So much for jumping on with us this morning, just kind of set the scene for us down there in van horn, as we are now looking at about 28 minutes to launch latest update yeah good morning, it’s, actually a beautiful day, we’ve got clear skies. The sun is coming up over the mountains and jeff bezos and the rest of the crew members of the new shepard mission. The 16th one just got on board, so it looks like they’re tracking toward an on time, launch what’s the most exciting thing about this, because we do have private people having gone into sub orbit. What do you feel on the ground there that’s building the excitement? I think it’s really the fact that we are entering the era of private human spaceflight. You know before richard branson’s fight before this flight. More than 95 of people who’d gone into space, had been government astronauts on government vehicles. You know nasa astronauts russian astronauts chinese astronauts. You know from this moment forward: we’re looking at 95 of people going into space on private spacecraft, buying a ticket, so it’s really kind of a change. You know we’re going from the era of government space flight to commercial space flight and now it’s involving humans, and i agree with you. This really is an important moment is that eric it’s julie here, a positive change. In other words, you know it used to be people like jeff bezos right when they were kids dreamed of going to space.
Many of them traditionally have dreamed of going to space as an astronaut as a public servant. Is that no longer available to them? Or do you think we’ll have two cracks here: uh we’re kind of right in the middle of it, where we’re seeing the sea change from this era of government space flight to the arab commercial space flight um. The fact of the matter is these private companies, and especially spacex, but google origin 2 are moving, much more nimbly using capital, far more efficiently and so we’re starting to see them do things that nasa has been unable to do or has been unwilling to do, and I think we’re only going to see an acceleration of that in the future as these systems start flying we’ll see how much of a market there is for this suburban tourism and how that extends into orbit and the economy that we can build there eric virgin galactic. It is it’s a publicly traded company. Uh is something is a good successful launch today for blue origin. Is it good news for for virgin galactic, or is it bad news? I think it’s good news, because an accident on one system kind of reflects poorly on the whole industry, so the shareholders of virgin galactic the employees of virginia are very much rooting for for new shepherd. Now there is definitely a rivalry between the two companies. You know there are different experiences: one’s, a rocket launch one’s a rocket powered space, plane um.
They both give a few minutes of weightlessness and you can look back on earth um, but an accident this early in the program um would be catastrophic for the entire industry. We’Ve talked about elon, musk and spacex has already gone into orbit, sending you know its capsule, the dragon capsule to the international space station. How long do you think it’ll be before we see, for instance, boeing with their starliner actually transporting people to the international space station and then eventually blue origin getting into orbit so boeing and starliner? Heaven had a problematic mission about 18 months ago, but they’re flying their starliner spacecraft again on a demonstration mission to the international space station at the end of this month, so it’s scheduled to lift up on july 30.. If that mission goes well, then probably the earliest. We would see a crude flight on uh with astronauts on starliner would be next spring and blue origin is quite a bit further. You know they’ve got to finish their new glen rocket. I think that’s at least a couple of years away. There really some big technical hurdles remaining for them, and then they don’t really have any kind of orbital spacecraft. So blue origin, i would say, is at least five to ten years away from putting humans into orbit on their own vehicles. Eric um just want to tell people what they’re looking at here. Next to you, as we see the blue origin, the top of the blue origin rocket.
They were just dropping in wally, funk the 82 year old female aviation pioneer who’s, going to be making this voyage to space and will make her the oldest individual to have visited space. Eric we’ve talked a lot about sort of the bigger significance in the space, race, etc. I’M curious. What you think is technologically most interesting about this particular launch. I find the most interesting thing about this launch is that this is a reusable capsule and it’s a reusable rocket, so blue origin has built a new shepard system to be able to fly this 25 times. You know that would be really significant, because only spacex has built an orbital rocket that can launch and land vertically like this, this system as well, and so the fact that you have two companies, two visionaries, two billionaires like elon musk and jeff bezos, both saying that Reusable launch is the future um that’s, a big statement and and these rockets, and especially this one we’re seeing today, is proving that out and then eric you know finally uh before we let you go just want to ask what you think, maybe you’ve, maybe you’ve talked To elon about you know where he stands on all this: his takeaway on these uh. You know two events we’ve seen just in the last couple of weeks, so elon is much less interested in going to space than he is in building the systems to put large amounts of materials and peoples into space.
So he’s much more focused on his starship program. That doesn’t mean that he’s not going to one day go into space himself, but he he’s. He views he views being an engineer on a much higher level than he does of being an astronaut, so he’s he’s. Much more focused on building starship um than sort of this. I think he kind of looks at this race between branson and bezos and maybe sort of laughs a little bit to himself thinking that that’s, really not the important game here, there’s a bigger game to be played all right. There you go elon musk.