The Space Revolution is Being Led by More than Musk and Bezos
Although Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos dominate news coverage of what is seen as a billionaires’ space race, other wealthy investors are funding space projects and investing in space startups that can’t fund themselves at that level yet.
Age Of Space Startups
Anytime you think about the modern space race and the billionaires who are trying to make it happen, chances are that Elon Musk of SpaceX and Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin pop into your head. Despite this, there are 14 other benefactors of the space revolution that fall among the world’s 500 richest people, according to data from consulting firm Bryce Space & Technology and the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Together these individuals share a net worth of $513 billion, and every dollar could be used towards these ventures given the wildly expensive production, development, and innovation currently underway. Already, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has invested more than $600 million to boost commercial flights into suborbital space before the end of 2018. Additionally, Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is funding a lunar mission, and banking and retail billionaire Ricardo Salinas has invested in the OneWeb satellite network.
We are now in the age of space startups, fueled in part by Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp and Space Angels, a network for space investors. These projects help companies that aren’t billionaire-backed to negotiate the cost of getting into space, and now more than 225 private ventures have received financing for space projects, with about $3.1 billion invested in 2016 alone.
Sure, some of these groups won’t make it — but some will. And, as more companies enter the space marketplace, we are bound to see even more innovation, ridesharing, and other never-before-conceived concepts.