2021 NOTEBOOK: BILLIONAIRES AND THE SPACE RACE
Techlife News|Techlife News #529
Captain Kirk — aka William Shatner — finally made it into space, part of the new wave of civilian travelers sponsored by names like Bezos, Musk and Branson who are slipping the surly bonds of Earth 10 years after NASA’s shuttle program ended. But there are big differences.

What does entrepreneurial space travel have in common with its more nation-focused counterpart, and what are the contrasts? How are corporate space jaunts changing the face of the trip?

The coverage reflects on the story and her own experiences.

MARCIA DUNN, AP aerospace writer since 1990:

This year it was surreal to see ordinary people being escorted to the launch pad to blast into space. I mean, I’ve seen the astronauts, the professionals, the cosmonauts — I’ve been to Baikonur to see the Russians launch people — but seeing ordinary people just go out to the launch pad, climb into a rocket and blast into orbit, that’s what happened in the Kennedy Space Center here. First time in the U.S. where paying customers blasted into orbit. And I have to say, yes, the guy leading the charge is a rich guy who paid for the entire flight, but he took three ordinary people with him. And that was just really just — I was just standing here amazed, shaking my head seeing science fiction turn into science fact.

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