Richard Branson prepares to take his daredevil act to space with Virgin Galactic … and beat Jeff Bezos

Branson’s antics elicited a strong response from Bezos’ Blue Origin, which prides itself on being quiet, letting its actions speak for themselves and focusing on its customers instead of its competitors. Bob Smith, Blue Origin’s CEO, issued a statement last week wishing Branson well but also pointing out that Virgin Galactic is “not flying above the Kármán line, and it’s a very different experience.” The Kármán line, at 100 km or 62 miles above sea level, is an internationally recognized threshold for where space begins. Virgin Galactic flies to just over 50 miles, an altitude at which the Federal Aviation Administration will award crew members astronaut wings.

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