Ireland’s largest bookmaker is taking bets on which of five planned spacecraft will be the first to carry NASA astronauts to orbit, and the smart money is on Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser space plane, according to prognosticators on the Emerald Isle.
Dublin-based Paddy Power, a publicly traded company known for taking unconventional bets, has Dream Chaser flying first and has given the craft 9-4 odds, according to a July 21 press release.
The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), which is being built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, is next on the bookmaker’s list at odds of 5-2. Boeing Space Exploration’s CST-100 crew capsule also made the list, at odds of 3-1. Comparative long shots, according to Paddy Power, are Blue Origin’s Space Vehicle, 4-1, and Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Dragon capsule, 6-1.
With the exception of the MPCV, NASA has said that all these craft could be launching astronaut crews to the international space station as soon as 2017. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said July 12 that the MPCV likely will not fly a crewed mission until the early 2020s.