The CEO bragging rights of 2021 will go to whoever got to space first. Sadly, the argument about logistics could rumble on past launch date.
In case you missed it, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos are in a race to get to space. Bezos is taking Wally Funk to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket on July 20. But the Financial Times reported that Branson hopes to be aboard a Virgin Galactic flight on July 11, meaning he'd beat the Amazon founder by nine clear days.
Only, there's scope for some A-grade pedantry here.
There is no single agreed-upon definition of what counts as the point where the Earth's atmosphere ends and space begins. NASA defines space as starting 50 miles above the Earth's surface; the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the governing body for air sports, defines it as 100 kilometers, or 62 miles. Both have a point, neither is agreed upon universally, and picking one over the other causes its own problems.
Anyway. How high does Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo go? In testing, up to about 56 miles. How high does Blue Origin's New Shephard go? About 62 miles.
In other words, Branson might make it up there first. But Bezos may contend that Branson didn't, in fact, make it into space at all.
Would that be tiresome? Yes. Does it really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things? Not particularly. Will that all stop it from happening? Doubtful. But hey, Elon might have the last laugh when he makes it to Mars.