Virgin Galactic

Rod Pyle and the Space Cowboys

Rod Pyle

Episode 1814

Rod is back to talk about the billionaire space cowboys who have recently gone up into "space." Not even orbiting, mind you, just going up in a popcorn-like trajectory. Both Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have gone up in their own developed space ships, while Elon Musk is busy creating his spaceship to go to Mars. But are they really astronauts? The FAA doesn't seem to think so, having released new specifications of how high you have to get to be considered an astronaut.

Will People Get Astronaut Wings if They Go Up With Virgin or Blue Origin?

Civilian Astronaut Wings

Episode 1812

Micah from Maine

Micah is a member of the Airplane Geeks Podcast and has a question for Rod Pyle. He thinks that what Richard Branson did was OK for an airline flight. But Jeff Bezos taking Wally Funk up to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard is just plain genius. Leo says he definitely wins the PR war since Wally Funk is one of the Mercury 13: women who took the same tests as the Mercury Astronauts but were never chosen to be astronauts.

Richard Branson Wins Battle of Billionaires

Richard Branson

Episode 1812

In what was dubbed the "battle of the billionaires," Virgin Galactic's Sir Richard Branson became the first billionaire to touch space. Branson beat the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, by one week who is planning to launch on Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket. Bezos took the high road, wishing Branson best wishes as he plans to join the Virgin founder flying above the "Von Karman" line to become an official astronaut. Leo wonders what's the point of it all, though, since Alan Shepard was the first American in space doing the same kind of sub-orbital flight in 1961. 

Billionaires Battle to Go Into Space

Blue Origin

Episode 1811

The latest battle for space is being waged by billionaires. Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin is up against Sir Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic. And it looks like Branson is going to beat Bezos into space, launching his reusable space plane Unity Sunday. Bezos will be going up a week later. Leo says it used to be the battle of who can build the biggest yacht. Now it's who launches in a spaceship. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has sold all his houses and is living in a trailer in Texas to oversee the development of the SpaceX Starship for a journey to Mars.

Rod Pyle and Billionaires in Space

Rod Pyle

Episode 1805

Rod is back with more space news, particularly, that former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is planning on going on the first flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft. Blue Origin has been testing the new Shepard rocket and capsule on a parabolic arc for several years and has reached the point to become man rated. So Jeff Bezos is not only taking the first flight but he's auctioned off the couch next to him for $28 million for someone to go with him. That's a lot for a 12-minute flight. But it's for charity.