Launch of a new era or flights of fancy? Branson, Bezos ventures may open space travel to all

July 28, 2021

The space travel pursuits by British entrepreneur Richard Branson and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are evoking awe and wonder among enthusiasts and even casual observers, conjuring visions of a day when such flights may become fairly ordinary. After reaching the edge of space with a five-person crew aboard a spacecraft from his company Virgin Galactic on July 11, Branson said he wanted to “make space more accessible to all.’’ Other advantages include the possibility they could spur new developments that may enhance airline travel and considerably shorten flight times. "Within five years, I would say the people who can afford to fly first class around the world would be able to afford a (space) flight," said Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering; Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies; Director, Graduate Aerospace Laboratories; Director, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies. [USA Today article] [pdf article]

Tags: GALCIT Morteza Gharib