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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Mário Ferreira could become first Portuguese space tourist today




Lisbon, Aug. 4, 2022 (Lusa) - The businessman Mário Ferreira may become the first Portuguese space tourist on Thursday, in a suborbital trip of little more than 10 minutes.
The autonomous and reusable capsule New Shepard of the North American company Blue Origin, with five other crew members, will take off today from the Texas desert, in the United States, with the launch window scheduled to begin at 14:30 (Lisbon time).
This is the sixth suborbital flight with crew from Blue Origin, the aerospace company run by the tycoon Jeff Bezos.
Alongside Mário Ferreira, president of the Pluris Investments group, through which he owns a stake in Portuguese television station TVI and cruise line Douro Azul, will be Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry, Anglo-American climber Vanessa O'Brien, co-founder of YouTube sports channel "Dude Perfect" Coby Cotton, former telecoms executive Steve Young and technology expert Clint Kelly III.
If all goes well, similar to other flights, the six crew members will cross the barrier that separates the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and space and experience microgravity, in a short journey of just over 10 minutes between take-off (propelled by a thruster) and landing (softened by a parachute). None of the crew members will have to pilot the ship, since it is totally automatic.
Mário Ferreira told Lusa he believes that "soon" there will be orbital 'resorts' "for tourism and scientific experiments" and is also considering investing in the aerospace industry.
"This is for me the first flight of what I believe will be the future of space travel. The companies I have been getting to know, including this one, have very interesting ongoing programmes that are not science fiction," the entrepreneur considered, adding that his training has been very intense.
"[On Tuesday] it was 13 hours straight, today [Wednesday] about 12. The training at this stage is very much based on safety issues and repetition of movements," he told Lusa, indicating that the crew members already have a notion of the weather and "the adverse forces" that they will feel in their bodies during the trip.
About the bottle of port wine that he will send into space on the flight, he said he wanted his mission "to be more than a tourist experience", also having "an experimental area".
"We want to see what changes a 2003 vintage can suffer, we will see if with the G forces and absence of gravity, it changes taste, colour, and if there are other chemical or molecular changes," he explained to Lusa.
In addition to the "special bottle, not glass, with cork stopper" of Taylor's Port, there are other items that he will also take on the trip.
At stake is a "tribute to the Douro, to the river, to the boats and to an art" that he says he greatly admires, so he will send a "rabelo boat in filigree".
Mário Ferreira, who in July was made an official suspect in the "Operation Ferry", which investigates possible crimes of qualified tax fraud and laundering in the business of buying and selling the ship Atlântida, had already expressed his desire to go into space and even bought a ticket to fly with another company, Virgin Galactic.
Blue Origin's spacecraft is named after the astronaut (Alan Shepard) who became the first American to go into space, in 1961, and the fifth to set foot on the surface of the moon, in 1971.
ER/AYLS // AYLS
Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2022-08-05 09:41:00







 

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