Richard Branson is going to launch with Virgin Galactic's six crew flight on July 11, but what are exactly the risks that the CEO would face, once he is up there in the skies or as they descend.
Despite being a well-tested spacecraft that was approved by regulatory bodies, a lot could still go wrong, and will the risks be worth it?
The CEO is known to go ahead of Blue Origin's New Shepard launch which was scheduled for July 20, and near successfully go ahead of Jeff Bezos, which would also join his crew's launch to orbit.
Richard Branson: Spaceflight Risks
Going to space would always entail risks, and even long-time astronauts are tied with it, despite doing everything they can to prevent it, as has been revealed in numerous studies. However, not all of these risks are potentially fatal, as there is a small percentage that the passenger or astronaut would die aboard a failed launch or explosion.
That being said, these are one of many potential risks that Richard Branson would face, especially as he is only days away from going abord the launch of his first as a civilian tourist in Virgin Galactic's launch.
Initially, Branson is a civilian, which has not trained his body for years of astronaut training programs, like the ones offered within NASA or universities. Despite being physically fit or training his body through sports, it would not be enough as spaceflight is a whole other ball game.
Having trained for it one or two years before the launch, his body might be in condition, but it might not be enough for the rigorous situation he would put his body into, especially when going 2,400 mph as the rocket propels.
According to Space Review, former astronaut Rick Hauck said before that there is only a four percent chance of dying due to space launches, but that risk has risen in recent studies.
Virgin Galactic Launch to Orbit
Launching to orbit would put the crew of Virgin Galactic to the outer edge of Earth's atmosphere, meaning that it would be in the place where external harmful factors may reach humans.
This would be Virgin Galactic's first fully crewed launch of its crew ship, which has only carried test flights that included human volunteers to orbit.
The Unity 22 launch would be live-streamed to the public, having the chance to witness the event for themselves.
Space Tourism is Risky
If individuals that train and are physically fit will still face risks when venturing to outer space, what more for regular humans which do not train or are not physically conditioned for a flight. That is the main dilemma of space tourism, which is now an up-and-coming venture of most companies, including Virgin Galactic, Blue Origins, SpaceX, and more.
These companies should study more of what the risks would be, especially what they would subject people to, once they step foot in the rocket, with hundreds of liters of jet fuel underneath them.
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Written by Isaiah Richard