Elon Musk (left), Jeff Bezos (Center) and Richard Branson
Musk, Bezos and Branson are all committed to promoting space travel. These billionaires have their own vision of how human beings will work and live in space in the future.
SpaceX, blue origin and Virgin Galactic have different goals, but many of them overlap.
Musk hopes to build a Mars city by 2050, Bezos hopes trillions of people will live in the floating space station, and Branson focuses on non-traditional suborbital space tourism.
Tencent technology news on May 11, Elon Musk’s SpaceX may be the most popular name in the field of private space exploration, but this Tesla CEO is not the only super rich man who has a grand vision for the future of mankind beyond the earth’s atmosphere.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, also owns his own space company, blue genesis, and has promised to sell about $1 billion worth of Amazon stock each year to fund it. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is involved in everything from airlines to healthcare. He founded a commercial aerospace company called Virgin Galactic.
These three companies were established in the early years of the 21st century, but each company has its own unique business model and future space flight plan. Here’s what musk, Bezos and Branson want to achieve, and what they’re doing today:
Musk: build a Mars city in 2050
A few years after becoming Tesla’s chief executive and consolidating his position as a regular twitter customer, musk founded SpaceX in 2002. The company originated from Musk’s idea of sending a spacecraft called Mars oasis to the red planet. The spacecraft will deliver an experimental greenhouse and equipment to take pictures of Mars and send them back to earth. Musk hopes the project will rekindle interest in Mars within the U.S. government.
On May 30, 2020, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes off
Musk promised $20 million for the mission and tried to buy some refurbished ICBMs from Russia, but he found that the project was far beyond the original budget. To this end, musk decided to create SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, to develop reusable rockets to reduce the cost of sending people and payloads into space. That’s what SpaceX has been trying to achieve for most of the past 20 years, and it has made a lot of progress.
On December 9, 2020, SpaceX conducted a high-altitude test flight of the first starship prototype SN8 at a facility in boccachka, Texas
SpaceX has completed multiple launches for commercial and government customers and became the first private company to send spacecraft to the international space station in 2012. In 2020, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch humans into space and the international space station. In April, NASA chose the company and decided to use its starship to send the first astronauts to the moon since 1972.
SpaceX is also committed to building a broadband Internet service composed of thousands of satellites, called Starlink. The service is designed to provide high-speed Internet services to remote and rural areas, and SpaceX recently said it has more than 500000 orders.
SpaceX demonstrated the company’s starship prototype at a facility in boccachka, Texas
In the end, musk believes that the future of mankind depends on its ability to settle on Mars. He said in 2020 that he hoped to build a city on Mars with a population of 1 million by 2050. SpaceX will use 1000 ultimate starships designed for deep space travel to send humans to Mars.
Bezos: building a floating space station to accommodate trillions of people
Like musk, Bezos’ obsession with space travel dates back decades. Physicist Gerard O’Neill’s idea of floating space stations, which can hold trillions of people once the earth’s resources run out, particularly attracted him.
In order to realize his dream, Bezos founded blue genesis in 2000, with a goal similar to Musk’s Adventure: to make space exploration cheaper by recycling boosters for future launch. The Kent, Washington, based company had been operating in complete secrecy until around 2003, and for more than a decade after that, Bezos kept his plans secret.
Blue origin’s new reusable Shepard suborbital rocket was launched into space in 2016
For years, the company has been testing a suborbital rocket called the new Shepard, which will eventually bring paid tourists to the edge of space. Passengers will be able to see the beauty of the earth through the huge porthole and experience weightlessness for a few minutes. In May this year, blue origin announced that the first flight of its new Shepard suborbital spacecraft will be held on July 20, and the first seat will be auctioned for charity.
The final design of the new Shepard, a blue origin suborbital spacecraft
At the same time, blue genesis is developing a larger rocket called the new Glenn to deliver payloads to low orbit, as well as a secret future project called new Armstrong. In 2019, Bezos announced the lunar lander plan called “blue moon”. The company said that the lander will be ready in 2024, which will eventually help to establish a “permanent human base” on the moon. Blue origin also participated in NASA’s manned lunar landing contract, but was defeated by SpaceX, although the company disagreed with the decision.
Blue origin announced the lunar lander, but lost the contract to bring NASA astronauts to the moon
When Bezos announced plans to step down as Amazon’s chief executive in the third quarter of 2021, he said he planned to devote more time to other projects, including blue origin. In an interview with Matthias D pfner, chief executive of media company Axel Springer in 2018, Bezos called the Rocket Company his “most important job.”.
Branson: focusing on non-traditional suborbital space tourism
Branson’s space adventure differs from blue origin and SpaceX in several key ways. Virgin Galactic is currently focused on suborbital travel, rather than sending people and payloads into space. It also designed a fundamentally different way to send spacecraft out of the earth’s atmosphere.
Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft is attached to its Mothership, white knight two
Virgin Galactic does not launch rockets directly from the ground like its competitors. Instead, its spacecraft was carried 50000 feet (15240 meters) by a spacious twin fuselage jet called white knight two. From there, the ship was released and coasted for a few seconds, then started the rocket engine and began to rise nearly vertically to an altitude of about 300000 feet.
The company hasn’t yet shipped any tourists into space, but has sold 600 tickets for between $200000 and $250000 each. Although Virgin Galactic plans to take in passengers in 2021, it has delayed the plan until next year.
Virgin Galactic VSS unity glides to base after test flight
When the spacecraft reaches its final height, passengers will be able to leave their seats and float around the luxurious cabin for a few minutes, gazing at the view of earth or space. Virgin Galactic also plans to provide flights for research purposes. Once the spacecraft is pulled back into the earth’s atmosphere, it will be piloted back to virgin’s facility in New Mexico for runway landing.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo is heading for the edge of space
In addition to fuel, Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft can be reused. The company’s goal is to make launching objects and people into space more economical and environmentally friendly. In March this year, Virgin Galactic launched the third generation vehicle VSS imagine. Prior to that, it had built and launched two SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, including VSS enterprise, which was destroyed in a fatal crash in 2014.
In March this year, Virgin Galactic launched the next generation of spacecraft VSS imagine
In the future, Virgin Galactic plans to operate a fleet of aircraft that can transport tourists to space hotels, researchers to floating laboratories, or provide lightning like transcontinental flights. In 2017, virgin Galaxy spun off a company called virgin orbit, which is working on putting satellites into orbit using a similar air launch system（ Tencent technology reviser / Jinlu)