Max Q: Selling space, in the week, actually includes two, since the author was out last week for a Canadian legal holiday (and back today for the U.S. one, ironically). There’s plenty to hide, including Blue Origin’s bidding process, lunar landers, spaceships launching stumped, and therefore the return of our very own space event.
Blue Origin’s big bid
Blue Origin is auctioning off one seat on its first-ever human spaceflight, and therefore the bidding got started at $1.4 million — or a minimum of, the general public bidding started there. Before last week, people had been submitting blind bids, but now Blue Origin is posting the highest current bid to its website whenever it hits a replacement high. It’s currently set at $2.8 million, meaning it’s doubled since the bids opened to public scrutiny, and presumably FOMO.
Everything’s build-up to June 12, when the auction will conclude with a live, real-time online competitive bidding round. Seems likely it’ll a minimum of the cross the $3 million mark before all’s said and done, which is sweet news for Blue Origin since run-of-the-mill tickets for the jiffy in suborbital space going forward will probably find yourself more within the many thousands of dollars range.
The winning bidder is going to be flying on July 20, if all goes to the present plan, and can be amid other passengers selected by Blue Origin through another mechanism. We don’t yet know who else is going to be on the ride. Bezos maybe?
SpaceX’s Deimos spaceport is under construction
SpaceX is basically flexing its sci-fi-made-real muscle with its latest move: the corporate is popping two offshore oil rig platforms into floating spaceports, and one among the 2 , codenamed “Deimos” after one among Mars’ moons, is already being worked on. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared that the corporate is hoping to possess it ready for operations next year, meaning it could host actual launches in 2022.
Eventually, Deimos and its twin, Phobos, will provide launch and landing services to SpaceX’s first fully reusable launch vehicle — Starship. Starship barely managed to land successfully after a high, but still considerably atmospheric, flight test, however, so it’s how to travel before it’s making amphibious departures and arrivals using the converted oil platforms.
Putting these within the ocean presumably helps solve some key issues, not least of which is being mindful of the impact of launching absolutely massive rockets ashore anywhere near people. Ditto the landings, which, a minimum of early, are sure to be risky affairs better administered with a buffer of the surrounding ocean.
There’s quite a little bit of lunar lander news in the week, including Japan’s space revealing that it’ll provide commercial lunar lander service to both Canada and Japan, with a ride for both provided by SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket. These are going to be two separate missions, with the primary one set for next year, and therefore the other set to require a place in 2023.
Both will use space’s Hakuto-R lander, which it originally developed to require part within the Google-backed Lunar XPRIZE competition. That ended without a winner, but some companies, including space, continued to figure on their landers with an eye fixed to commercialization. The Hakuto-R being sent on behalf of JAXA will carry an adorable ball-shaped moon robot which seems like a really novel combat rover.
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