Spacey Competition

There was quite a hoopla yesterday when billionaire Richard Branson and some others flew in a special plane that went as high as 53 miles above sea level, to “the edge of space.” That compares with the paltry six or seven miles above sea level most of us have ever gone riding in commercial jets. Branson accomplished this feat nine days ahead of when billionaire Jeff Bezos expects to fly to “the edge of space” in his special plane. You might think that therefore Branson won this important competition, but don’t be so sure! Officials at Bezos’s company claim that “the edge of space” only begins 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, and that Bezos’s special plane will get that far, but Branson’s didn’t. To put it all in perspective: The first people to reach the moon got there over fifty years ago, and the moon is about 239,938 miles farther above sea level than either Branson or Bezos are going. I’m reminded of the limerick, “You can tell the men from the boys by the price of their toys.”