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Blue Origin wants to launch its rocket during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is the danger?

COVID-19 Coronavirus Originating in Chinaspread almost all over the world. At the time of this writing, April 3, 2020, US residents are particularly affected by the disease - more than 245,000 people have been infected with the virus. To slow the spread of the disease, authorities in many states announced a self-isolation regime and allowed people to take to the streets only when absolutely necessary. These are very good measures, especially for the state of Washington, where 175 people have already died from the coronavirus. However, the local company Blue origin as if to spit on people's health becauseshe requires her subordinates to conduct a test launch of the New Shepard rocket right during the deadly pandemic. So, at least, company employees report

Blue Origin employees complain that the company puts the test of their missiles above human lives

Blue origin Is an American company thatis developing a New Shepard rocket to send tourists into space. The founder of the company, Jeff Bezos, is better known as the creator of the largest online store Amazon and the richest man in the world.

Space tourism

The fact that Blue Origin is forcing itsemployees work even during a self-isolation regime, The Verge reported. Several anonymous workers told reporters that they would be happy to work remotely or in their home in Washington. However, company executives want to test-launch the New Shepard tourist rocket. To do this, employees need to travel about 3,000 kilometers and get to the Texas town of Van Horn, whose population is just over 2,000.

New Shepard rocket is designed for space tourism - entertainment flights for rich people

Washington currently has more6500 patients with coronavirus patients, so among Blue Origin employees there may well be infected people with symptoms that have not yet manifested. If they travel to a small town in Texas, locals run the risk of contracting a dangerous disease from them. It is known that in the town of Van Horn there are no well-equipped hospitals, so if people with severe forms of coronavirus come to them, they are unlikely to be able to help them. As a result, the disease can take several more lives.

To save people with severe coronavirus symptoms, hospitals need mechanical ventilation machines (IVL). Lyubov Sokovikova recently talked about how they work.

Based on the foregoing, in that the staffBlue Origin does not want to travel to other states and endanger other people, there is nothing surprising. According to them, they would be better left to work in Washington, because they have so much work. For example, they could work on improving parts of the New Shepard rocket, which have long required attention, but have not reached their hands for a long time. Or, for example, they could take up work on the New Glenn missile, which the US Air Force sees as a means to launch military satellites. In principle, Blue Origin was given permission to continue working only because it cooperates with the military.

New Glenn - Blue Origin rocket, developed since 2012. In size, it will be larger than the tourist New Shepard, but its main task will be to deliver satellites to Earth orbit

Test launch tourist rocket New Shepardwas scheduled for April 10, but a state of self-isolation was declared in Washington State. However, after a while, the Texas authorities allowed the company's employees to violate the established rules if they are needed to carry out a test launch of the rocket. The exact mechanism of the rocket the company wants to test is unknown, but in general it wants to make sure that the device is safe for space flights around our planet.

New space race

But why are Blue Origin executives soreally want to test launch the New Shepard tourist rocket, endangering people's lives? According to anonymous employees, the reason for this is the company's fear of falling behind its competitors. Indeed, besides her, SpaceX is also burning with the desire to send rich people to space travel. At the moment, despite the terrifying situation in the world, SpaceX employees are working in the Texas city of Boca Chica - they are developing a spaceship suitable for space travel. It is not intended for space tourism, but the company is probably simultaneously working on the Big Falcon rocket, on which Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa wants to fly with his girlfriend in 2023.

About Blue Origin and SpaceX rivalry2019, my colleague Ilya Hel said. I strongly recommend reading it, because everyone who is interested in science and space should know about the relationship between these companies

SpaceX also wants to spend in the coming weeksthe test flight of the starship being developed, but hardly anyone will criticize it for this. The thing is that SpaceX employees do not need to move from one state to another and expose people to the risk of coronavirus infection. And Blue Origin requires the movement of employees and essentially forces them to violate the self-isolation regime. According to company employees, managers do not tell them in person that if they do not follow orders, they will fire them, but there is still such a possibility.

Despite the self-isolation mode, SpaceX continues to develop the Starship

What will Blue do in this situation?Origin, not yet clear. However, some of them shared with reporters that they were very disappointed with the frivolous attitude of the company to the COVID-19 pandemic. It turns out that she puts her business above the lives of people and some employees already say that they want to find another job with a more responsible leadership.

However, the coronavirus is mistrustfuleven the head of SpaceX, Elon Musk. According to him, the panic around the coronavirus can be more dangerous than the disease itself. Read more about his attitude to the world problem in our material.

Quarantine in the USA

Since at the moment in the United States a lotinfected, authorities in many states have announced a regime of self-isolation. In the state of Washington, the first infected people began to appear in early March and at first it was simply recommended that people stay at home, but then the so-called “Stay at home order” came out, which can be translated as “Order to stay home”. People can go out not only for going to the store or walking pets, but also for jogging. But on the street you can only be near people who live with a person in the same apartment. And so, between strangers a distance of about two meters should be maintained.

At the time of writing, 175 people have died from coronavirus in Washington

Approximately the same rules at the momentoperate in Russia. In our country, the self-isolation regime is valid until April 30 and people can go out only for a good reason. For example, if necessary, you can go to the nearest store and buy the necessary products. Only they should be careful, because on their surface there may be particles of a dangerous virus. To be calm about the "cleanliness" of the purchased products, read this material, where the microbiologist told how to wash them correctly.