Elon Musk is a billionaire. But what about the rest of us? The future of space travel, and how it will impact the world, has been a topic of discussion for many years.
The billionaires investing in space is a new idea that has been created by Elon Musk. This idea will allow people to invest their money into the development of space technology.
This still picture from Blue Origin’s film shows Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, during the July 20 space mission.
Getty Images/Blue Origin/Agence France-Presse
The wealthiest man on Earth temporarily lost that distinction Tuesday morning, but only because he was no longer on Earth for a few floating minutes. Jeff Bezos has spent the last two decades leveraging his Amazon fortune to fund a rocket company called Blue Origin. Mr. Bezos was strapped on board the capsule as the firm launched its first human trip to space on Tuesday.
Mr. Bezos praised the engineers and crew, as well as “every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, since you guys paid for all of this,” after flying the New Shepard rocket to Mach 3 and experiencing weightlessness before parachuting down to the Texas desert.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a fun trip, which it was in part, or as the indulgence of a wealthy guy with ADHD. However, in terms of billionaire pastimes, this is more productive than, say, owning the Washington Post. Mr. Bezos added, “The design and technology we’ve selected is total overkill for a suborbital tourist mission.” That’s because the mission isn’t just about costly thrills.
The first step of the space ladder is tourism. Blue Origin has two more human flights planned for this year, and Mr. Bezos said the company’s private sales are nearing $100 million. Hundreds of seats for Virgin Galactic’s space aircraft, which sent its creator, Richard Branson, to weightlessness last week, have been pre-sold. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has sent NASA astronauts into space, but it also has private missions planned.
Although it is unclear how large this tourist industry will be, Blue Origin boasts that their capsule has larger windows than the competitors. Costs will decrease as these businesses compete to outdo one other. Reusable rockets that land vertically, for example, have already reduced the cost of transporting goods to space.
The money paid by affluent travellers will also assist these businesses in growing. Blue Origin is also working on other projects, including as a New Glenn rocket that will be large enough to launch satellites into space. Everyone knows that Elon Musk is heading for Mars. The advantages of all of this are difficult to quantify, but that is the nature of exploration and taking entrepreneurial risks.
Several firms are developing constellations of tiny satellites that may transmit high-speed internet to regions where it is now unavailable. Novel applications of technology are more difficult to anticipate, but when clever people compete to be the first to accomplish a goal, unexpected things happen. Nobody could have predicted that the Global Positioning System, or GPS, would one day save millions of people including Uber drivers from getting lost when working on America’s initial satellite missions in the 1950s and 1960s.
Mr. Bezos is said to be investing about $1 billion per year on Blue Origin, which is a significant amount, but having another rival aiming for the heavens will pay off. It may seem to be a little excursion for Mr. Bezos, but it is yet another significant step forward for America’s commercial space industry.
Kim Strassel, Kyle Peterson, Mary O’Grady, and Dan Henninger provide their picks for the best and worst of the week in the Journal Editorial Report. Virgin Galactic/EPA/Shutterstock/Getty Images/Virgin Galactic/EPA/Shutterstock/Getty Images Mark Kelly’s composite
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The print version of the July 21, 2021, was published.
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