Billionaires Blast Off

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk compete to see who can reach further into space


Photo courtesy

Jeff Bezos stands in front of his space shuttle minutes before lift off.

Ford Daniels, Writer

Since 2018, there has been a sudden boom in the race to complete trips of interstellar travel among billionaires. Members of this billionaire “space race” include world-renowned names such as Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk. Both Musk and Bezos seem to be competing to create newer, cutting-edge spacecrafts and fund expeditions.  

Bezos, spearheading his brand-new space exploration program, Blue Origin, embarked on his first journey into the stars on July 20. On this expedition, he was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother; Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aspiring astronaut; and Oliver Daemon, an 18-year-old Dutch student. The journey took 10 minutes and 10 seconds in total and proved a great success. The capsule Bezos and his crew completed the trip in is known as “New Shepard,” built by Blue Origin. Bezos plans to utilize the pod for “space tourism” in the near future. 

Bezos’s motives have been called into question on occasion, with claims that his “space tourism” will be reserved for the very affluent, such as himself. However, during an interview with MSNBC, Bezos claimed that his vision is based on environmental betterment.  

“We need to take all heavy industry, all polluting industry and move it into space, and keep Earth as this beautiful gem of a planet that it is,” Bezos said.

Florian Sloan (12), space enthusiast, considers space exploration important for humanity.

“To be honest, I believe that space travel is essential for the human race’s survival in the universe. As the global population continues to exponentially increase and natural resources continue to be consumed, the only answer for our survival is to live among the stars,” Sloan said. 

Subsequently, Musk, spearheading his own brand-new space exploration program, Space X, completed his first journey into the stars. Musk himself, however, did not embark on the expedition. Astronauts Doug Herley and Bob Behnken completed the trip in his place. Like Bezos, Musk plans to create a spaceship known as the “Starship.” Musk’s reasoning differs in that his spacecraft will be used to transport up to 100 people to Mars.

Elon Musk discusses his company specializing in space travel (Space X) at a NASA convention. (Photo courtesy

According to BBC News journalist and Science Editor, Paul Rincon, Musk foresees a promising future for humans in space.

“The alternative is to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species, which I hope you would agree is the right way to go,” Musk said. 

Thomas Van Vleet (11), interested in human evolution and space travel, sees the value of humans becoming multi-planetary species.

“I do believe it is necessary for the purposes of research and advancement of humanity,” Van Vleet said. “Environments on other planets provide a wide variety of circumstances and can provide the opportunities for research and new scientific breakthroughs.”

Musk and Bezos continue to compete for supremacy in the field of space exploration, showing no signs of slowing down. They will continue to fund and create new ways of achieving interstellar travel. It seems that there will be a promising future for billionaires in space.