Competition among the three global commercial aerospace giants accelerates

The US commercial rocket company Blue Origin’s one-month space travel auction took place on December 12: A person bidding for $28 million will board the “New Shepard” aerospace rocket manufactured by Blue Origin on July 20. With the company’s founder, the Bezos brothers and another passenger, enjoy a “minute” microgravity experience in the suborbital Earth and then return to the ground. This will also be the company’s first manned mission.

The US technology website THEEVERGE reported on the 12th that the identity of the winner will remain confidential for the next few weeks. In this auction, 20 bidders made the auction price soar from a starting price of $4.8 million to 2,800 in less than 10 minutes. Ten thousand U.S. dollars. The proceeds from the auction will go to the “Future Club”, a non-profit charity fund established by the company. Since 2015, Blue Origin has tested its fully reusable “New Shepard” 15 times, but the price has not yet been set.

However, Bezos’ high-profile space journey has also caused controversy. A report on the taxation of American super-rich people released by US media last week showed that Bezos has not paid federal income tax for at least two years. U.S. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Bezos for “retaining all the money and using it on a space ticket.”

Bezos’s commercial space journey is eager to try, and his opponents are also speeding up. The Dragon spacecraft of SpaceX, owned by Tesla founder Musk, has successfully carried NASA astronauts and will launch its first private space launch mission later this year. Its 4 passengers are expected to be in space. After 3 days.

The US CNBC website quoted people familiar with the matter as saying on the 12th that Virgin Orbit, a satellite launch company founded by the British billionaire Richard Branson, is negotiating to go public at a valuation of $3 billion, but Virgin Orbit rejected CNBC’s request for comment . Virgin Orbit is Branson’s private company, and Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company holds a minority stake in the company.

Virgin Orbit uses improved Boeing 747 aircraft to launch commercial rockets at an altitude of more than 13,000 meters, and claims that this method is more flexible than ground-based launch systems. The LauncherOne rocket developed by the company aims to launch a small satellite weighing up to 500 kilograms into space, and successfully completed its first launch in January this year, and plans to launch a second launch later this month.