• 3 minutes China has *Already* Lost the Trade War. Meantime, the U.S. Might Sanction China’s Largest Oil Company
  • 7 minutes Saudi and UAE pressure to get US support for Oil quotas is reportedly on..
  • 11 minutes China devalues currency to lower prices to address new tariffs. But doesn't help. Here is why. . . .
  • 15 minutes What is your current outlook as a day trader for WTI
  • 14 hours In The Bright Of New Administration Rules: Immigrants as Economic Contributors
  • 8 hours Will Uncle Sam Step Up and Cut Production
  • 1 day Movie Script: Epstein Guards Suspected Of Falsifying Logs
  • 9 hours Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House
  • 12 hours Continental Resource's Hamm (Trump Buddy) wants shale to cut production.Can't compete with peers. Stock will drop in half again.
  • 1 hour Domino Effect: Rashida Tlaib Rejects Israel's Offer For 'Humanitarian' Visit To West Bank
  • 1 day Significant: Boeing Delays Delivery Of Ultra-Long-Range Version Of 777X
  • 39 mins Gretta Thunbergs zero carbon voyage carbon foot print of carbon fibre manufacture
  • 5 hours NATGAS, LNG, Technology, benefits etc , cleaner global energy fuel
  • 2 days Kremlin Says WTO's Existence Would Be In Doubt If the U.S., Others Left
  • 2 days I think I might be wrong about a 2020 shakeout
  • 2 days China Continued Iran Oil Imports In July In Teeth of U.S. Sanctions
  • 2 days Strait Of Hormuz As a Breakpoint: Germany Not Taking Part In U.S. Naval Mission
Alt Text

Shale Bankruptcies Are On The Rise

The number of shale bankruptcies…

Alt Text

Imagining A Global Solar Empire

Global equity markets took a…

Jon LeSage

Jon LeSage

Jon LeSage is a California-based journalist covering clean vehicles, alternative energy, and economic and regulatory trends shaping the automotive, transportation, and mobility sectors.

More Info

Premium Content

The Billionaires Betting On Space Travel

The space race is on for some of the biggest names out there. Leading technology giants like Amazon.com, SpaceX, Microsoft, Virgin Group, Google, and Facebook are all getting in on the action.

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s second richest man after Microsoft’s Bill Gates, is funding rocket company Blue Origin to the tune of $1 billion a year. Blue Origin has been putting together a rocket factory in Kent, Wash., for several years. The company also plans to launch its rockets from a NASA launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the near future.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who also heads SpaceX, is overseeing space flights with the mission of eventually making it to Mars. A new version of the ship, Dragon 2, next year will send astronauts to the International Space Station still in orbit around planet Earth.

A Morgan Stanley analyst even claimed that Tesla could lose Musk’s attention as he devotes more time to his SpaceX intergalactic travel company, with the possibility of an alliance between Tesla and SpaceX in the future.

“Investors widely expect Elon Musk to, over time, devote increasing amounts of his time and talents to SpaceX, raising the very real question of who could replace him at Tesla,” Jonas wrote. “A combination of efforts between the two firms could address this important issue.”

The two companies will play on this alliance during a TV commercial that will be broadcast in January. A SpaceX rocket will carry a Tesla Roadster sports car owned by Musk as payload when it travels toward Mars.

While an avid fan of vehicles running off renewably produced electricity, Musk’s Dragon flights are powered by Falcon 9 rockets running off of LOX (liquid oxygen) combined with RP-1, or rocket grade kerosene. Related: Blockchain And The $3.6 Trillion Infrastructure Crisis

Bill Gates’ old business partner, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, sees a large opportunity in offering shared rides to outer space. SpaceFlight, backed by Allen, is already booking payloads on flights and has bought up the capacity of a SpaceX rocket that can be shared by paying customers.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson’s has already spent more than $600 million to help get commercial passenger flights into suborbital space by the end of 2018.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceflight company will be bringing hyper-fast airline flights to get from places like Boston over to Beijing. Its vehicles will likely fly at a top speed of Mach 2, about twice the speed of sound - or about 774 mph. Branson sees Virgin Galactic someday providing luxurious flight experiences to passengers going to places like Mars.

A study published in August by Bloomberg profiled some of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs who’ve invested in space travel startups and technology innovations.

Bill Gates is investing in Kameta, supporting efforts to bring the company’s mTenna satellite technology to market, with is designed around bringing communications to cars, planes, and boats.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is helping fund SETI, a University of California, Berkeley, project. One of its efforts has been Breakthrough Listen, which is looking into the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms. Related: U.S. Shale Cautious As Oil Majors Invade Texas

While these entrepreneurs see value in software, electric cars, social media, e-commerce, and airlines, each of them expects space travel to account for a growing part of the global economy. Thousands of residents of planet Earth have expressed interest in living on Mars, and there’s a growing market for rare metals that must be extracted from asteroids, comets, and other planets.

There’s also the appeal of offering hyper-fast trips to wealthy passengers willing to put down thousands on a trip around the Earth’s orbit. Since 2001, a Virginia-based company called Space Adventures has offered multimillionaires the opportunity to ride on a Russian flight to the International Space Station.

Earlier this year, Musk announced a bold new mission for SpaceX during 2018. Two unnamed passengers will be flying a roundtrip around the Moon. It will be the first private enterprise to offer that trip beyond government-funded astronaut space flights.

By John LeSage for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Chris on December 12 2017 said:
    "Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s second richest man after Microsoft’s Bill Gates, is funding rocket company Blue Origin to the tune of $1 billion a year"
    Mr. Bezos lost touch with reality. He lives in virtual reality. Can I suggest to Mr. Bezos, that he would share first his fortune with Amazon investors paying some nice dividend first, before he runs out of other people money. Thank you.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play