Agence France-PresseMay 3, 2021 12:19:59 PM IST
Even the Milky Way feels too small to prevent the egos of technology billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk from colliding to conquer space. Musk starred in a low recent tweet saying “can’t get up (in orbit)” in response to a message from Bezos-founded space company Blue Origin protesting NASA’s choice of Musk’s SpaceX team to build a module that will land in the next U.S. astronauts on the moon. “This is more than just a battle for space,” said Daniel Ives, Wedbush’s analyst. “There’s an ego in the game too; this has become even more personal.”
Technology entrepreneurs have both channeled some of their vast wealth to private space exploration companies since the turn of the century.
Bezos, 57, is the founder of Blue Origin as well as the e-commerce colossus of Amazon. Forbes ranks him the richest man on this planet, worth about $ 202 billion.
Musk, the colorful 49-year-old founder of Tesla and SpaceX, as well as other companies, including one working to network people’s brains on computers, is in third place, valued at $ 173 billion.
From dreams to private companies rising to the stars – rather than leaving such miracles to governments – projects have developed into the deployment of satellite networks providing wireless Internet services and space travel.
While SpaceX and Blue Origin benefit from founders with abundant financial resources, they also compete for contracts with the U.S. military or space agencies.
Musk has a clear lead over Bezo.
SpaceX has sent hundreds of satellites into orbit, while Kuiper’s satellite network is still tied to the ground, despite Bezos pledging $ 10 billion in support.
Musk even formed an alliance with Microsoft, Amazon’s largest competitor in the cloud services market, to use its Azure platform to provide satellite Internet service, the companies announced late last year.
Microsoft also announced that it will partner with SpaceX to build satellites as part of a defense system capable of detecting and tracking ballistic, cruise, and hypersonic attacks.
Separately, the U.S. Department of Defense last year awarded a $ 10 billion JEDI cloud service contract to Microsoft instead of Amazon.
Amazon has claimed it closed the deal because former U.S. President Donald Trump had opposed the company and Bezos.
Rocket to riches?
NASA has developed a trust in SpaceX, which has been trusted to transport supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station, says Xavier Pasco, a space expert at the Strategic Research Foundation.
Blue origin, on the other hand, has not taken that “important step,” Pasco noted.
Bezos has been left to challenge SpaceX in court here on planet earth.
Earlier this year, he announced his resignation from Amazon’s CEO and plans to spend more time on other projects, including Blue Origin.
Bezos has mentioned the futuristic view of late physicist and space lawyer Gerard O’Neill, but has mocked Musk’s talk of inhabiting Mars.
Bezos has made it clear that he thinks the red planet is not a place for home.
“My friends who want to move to Mars?” Bezos said at the conference in 2019. “Do me a favor, first go live on top of Mount Everest for a year and see if you like it – because it’s a garden paradise compared to Mars.”
The competition between Bezos and Musk is related to external financial contributions.
Analyst Ives predicted that the “commercialization” of space would soon begin in earnest, with revenues of trillions of dollars.
“Bezos and Musk know the winner of the space battle will be crowned within the next couple of years,” Ives said.