Billionaires have always had big dreams, today some of them are working hard to make money with the conquest of the space. Elon Musk is the most famous in the space race, he is the founder of SpaceX, a company that has had over two dozen successful missions. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO, is the founder of the company Blue Origin. Soon, it will have its first customers.
Richard Branson, the Virgin CEO, is the founder of Virgin Galactic. Its SpaceShipTwo for passengers is in the test phase. Forbes states that Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen has founded Vulcan Aerospace, whose first spacecraft is in development stage but nearing completion for testing.
Tech billionaires tried to conquer the space many years ago, but that was another story. In the late 1990s there were some space companies that tried to be successful but failed. What is the difference with the years we are living now? Today there is a market.
More on the space companies
This market isn't for legions of space tourists, it's for small satellites. Although they may not have the capabilities of larger satellites, they have a major advantage which is cost. The demand for data that small satellite providers can supply is enormous. That demand only grows as the price goes down. The four companies mentioned above want to make human spaceflight a reality. SpaceX has reached an agreement with NASA to deliver astronauts to the space station. Virgin Galactic has sold tickets for suborbital journeys, but their business plans are anchored in the huge number of satellites awaiting their chance to get into space.
SpaceX and Blue Origin have been the most successful companies, they are developing traditional rockets with crewed capsules to deliver astronauts and cargo. Bezos is focused on the long-term planning to build commercial infrastructure in low Earth orbit. On the other hand, Musk talked about his plans to send humans to Mars next decade.