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La era del espacio como negocio ha comenzado

El aniversario del alunizaje del Apolo 11 marcó un pequeño paso para los viajes espaciales, pero un gran salto para los multimillonarios con empresas espaciales.Este mes, Jeff Bezos y Richard Branson demostraron de manera vívida que al parecer es seguro, y sobre todo divertido, elevarse hasta los confines del cielo. Este planeta tiene tantos problemas que es un alivio escapar de él, aunque sea durante 10 minutos, que fue más o menos el tiempo de los viajes suborbitales que ofrecieron los empresarios a través de sus respectivas compañías, Blue Origin y Virgin Galactic.Pero más allá de la estupefacción había un …

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The Amazonification of Space Begins in Earnest

The anniversary of the Apollo moon landing marked one small step for space travel but a giant leap for space billionaires.Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson vividly demonstrated this month that soaring up to the near reaches of the sky appeared safe and, above all, a lark. The planet has so many problems that it is a relief to escape them even for 10 minutes, which was about the length of the suborbital rides offered by the entrepreneurs through their respective companies, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.But beyond the dazzlement was a deeper message: The Amazonification of space has begun …

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Virgin Galactic president Mike Moses on what’s next for the company’s growing fleet

This last weekend featured the much-ballyhooed launch of Virgin Galactic’s first (non-paying) passengers, with founder and CEO Richard Branson along for the ride. After the festivities, I had the chance to talk with the company’s president, Mike Moses, who seems to be familiar with every detail of the operation and the company’s plans for going from test to commercial flights.
Unfortunately my recorder went on the fritz, but Moses was kind enough to hop on the phone later in the week to talk (again) about the next generation of spaceplanes, where the company needs to invest, and …

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Virgin Galactic and Richard Branson celebrate launch of first passengers into space

Virgin Galactic has successfully taken its first passengers to space, including its billionaire founder Richard Branson. The event, at Spaceport America in New Mexico, was a field day for press and employees, complete with an early-morning Khalid set and hero walk by Branson and the crew.
“Just imagine a world where people of all ages, all backgrounds, from anywhere, of any gender, of any ethnicity, have equal access to space,” Branson said on returning. “Welcome to the dawn of a new space age!”
The remark is a bit premature, of course — that world is still some distance off, but it’ …

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Watch live as Virgin Galactic’s first passenger flight takes off with Richard Branson on board

Virgin Galactic is set to launch its first passengers to space tomorrow morning, and you can watch the whole thing right here. The launch is scheduled for 6 AM Pacific, with streaming festivities (including commentary by Stephen Colbert) starting on the hour.
This launch is the 22nd for VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic’s first spacecraft to leave the atmosphere. As before, Unity will leave the Spaceport attached to the belly of VMS Eve, which will take it up out of the thickest part of the atmosphere.
Unity will drop off and ignite its rocket engine, reaching speeds approaching Mach 3 until it …

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Max Q: Billionaire Blast-off Boys Club

Max Q is a weekly newsletter from TechCrunch all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Mondays in your inbox.
It’s a space race of the most indulgent kind, plus there’s a new commercial launch enterprise in the games and another is prepping for production at a massive scale. Also, Starlink aims for the stars — ‘the stars’ in this case being not going bankrupt.
The billionaire bragging rights battle no one asked for
Richard Branson surprised absolutely no one by announcing last week that he’d be aboard the next Virgin Galactic to fly to …

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Branson aims to beat Bezos to orbit in final stretch of billionaire space race

Two billionaires are neck and neck in the final sprint to the Kármán line, but Richard Branson may clinch it with a July 11 flight on a Virgin Galactic spacecraft, narrowly beating out Jeff Bezos’s planned July 20 trip aboard a Blue Origin New Shepard capsule. Whoever wins, the real lesson here is that with enough money, you truly can do anything.
The news came today in the form of an announcement from Virgin Galactic stating that the launch window for its next test flight opens at 6 AM Pacific time on July 11, and that the mission will be the first to …

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Virgin Orbit successfully launches its first commercial payloads to space

Virgin Orbit had a successful first commercial launch, meaning there’s now officially another small satellite launch provider in operation with a track record of delivering payloads to space. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket took off from its carrier aircraft at around 11:45 AM EDT today, and the spacecraft had a successful series of engine fires and stage separations to make there’s of the trip to low Earth orbit.
On board, Virgin Orbit carried seven payloads, including the first ever defense satellite for the Netherlands, as well as cubsats developed by the U.S. Departme of Defense for its Rapid …

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How to Fix SPACs

Lynn E. Turner, a former chief accountant for the Securities and Exchange Commission, called the proposed fix “an excellent idea.” Because sponsors are the ones advertising “here’s what we’re going to do in this time period,” he said, “they should be locked into that.”Mr. Palihapitiya was less enthusiastic.“This isn’t a very good idea,” he told me. “Why would a sponsor agree to a five-year lockup when management wouldn’t, nor would other investors including PIPE investors?” (At the time of the deal, institutional investors are often invited to buy shares with favorable terms through what’ …

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Max Q: Starship’s good landing (and less good post-landing)

Max Q is a weekly newsletter from TechCrunch all about space. Sign up here to receive it weekly on Mondays in your inbox.
Sometimes even the biggest successes look like failures on video. That’s the theme of this week, because the biggest news by far was SpaceX’s test launch of its latest Starship prototype in South Texas.
It looked fake — but the fireball proved it wasn’t
SpaceX’s test flight was a launch of the 10th Starship prototype, to a height of around 32,000 feet, at which point it used its Raptor engines to flip into a flop …

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