Local astronaut discusses the race to space between Bezos, Branson


The billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are racing to space.

They took their piles of money and founded space ventures, in part so they could take the ride themselves.

Branson’s company announced that its next test flight will be July 11 and that its founder will be among the six people on board, all company employees. The winged rocket ship will soar from New Mexico — the first carrying a full crew.

Bezos, meanwhile, plans to blast into space from West Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He’ll be on the debut flight of a Blue Origin rocket, accompanied by his brother, a female aerospace pioneer and the winner of a $28 million charity auction.

So what will these business tycoons experience when they finally slip the bonds of gravity this month?

Jose Hernandez, a retired NASA astronaut from Stockton and our local aerospace expert for human spaceflight, joined Mae to discuss what Bezos and Branson will experience.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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