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FACTBOX-Space Race: Billionaire Bezos to fly to space, before Musk and Branson

    June 7 (Reuters) - Billionaire Jeff Bezos said on Monday he
would fly on the first crewed space flight from his rocket
startup Blue Origin next month, potentially taking off days
after he steps down as the Amazon.com Inc chief on July
5.
    Fellow billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson have also
been investing billions of dollars on their rocket startups,
SpaceX and Virgin Galactic respectively, but Bezos will be the
first of the three to actually travel into space.
    Blue Origin and SpaceX mainly aim to send satellites for
clients into orbit at an affordable price and reuse parts of
rockets to keep costs in check.
    Here's how the two space startups measure up against one
another: 
    
             Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin  Elon Musk's SpaceX
 Founded     2000, headquartered in   2002, headquartered in
             Kent, Washington         Hawthorne, California
 Funding     Most funds come from     Backers include Elon
             Bezos, who said in 2017  Musk, Alphabet Inc,
             he would sell $1 bln     Fidelity Investments,
             worth of his Amazon.com  and Bailie Gifford. The
             Inc stock every year to  next round of funding
             fund the company. Total  is expected to give it
             funding and valuation    a valuation of at least
             have not been publicly   $60 bln, according to a
             disclosed.               Business Insider
                                      report.
 Goals       Blue Origin, whose       SpaceX says its
             Latin motto means "step  ultimate goal is to
             by step, ferociously,"   enable people to live
             is working towards       on Mars.
             making civilian space    
             flight an important      Its Starlink broadband
             niche in the global      satellite internet
             space economy,           service aims to offer
             alongside satellite      fast internet speeds to
             services and government  rural customers with
             exploration projects.    limited options.
 Milestones  Blue Origin, yet to      SpaceX has had over 100
             launch anything into     successful space
             orbit, has launched and  missions so far. Its
             landed its suborbital    Crew Dragon capsule
             rocket, New Shepard,     delivered two
             more than a dozen        astronauts to the
             times. It aims to        International Space
             complete development of  Station in 2020.
             its much bigger          
             workhorse orbital        
             rocket, New Glenn, by    
             this year.               
 Collaborat  Blue Moon lunar-lander   Starship moon-lander
 ion with    project was awarded      project was awarded
 NASA        $579 mln in April 2020   $135 mln in April 2020
             by NASA.                 by NASA.
 Crewed-     Blue Origin is           SpaceX is targeting the
 Projects    currently testing its     fourth quarter of this
             New Shepard booster and  year to launch the
             capsule spaceship that   first all-commercial
             aim to take space        astronaut mission to
             tourists aboard by       Earth's orbit, called
             April this year.         Inspiration4. 
                                      
             Jeff Bezos said his      
             brother Mark and he      
             will fly on the first    
             crewed space flight in   
             July.                    
 
    
 (Reporting by Eva Mathews and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru;
Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Shinjini Ganguli)
  
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