Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the battle of millionaires in space

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the battle of millionaires in space


Both billionaires work in their respective companies to help the colonization of space. SpaceX is winning, but Blue Origin does not want to be left behind in this race.

The earth seems too small for the two billionaire bosses Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to cohabit as they fight a merciless battle to become the next emperor of space.

On Monday night, Elon Musk posted a particularly suggestive and sexually connoted tweet about a Jeff Bezos project to develop a moon landing device for NASA, which was eventually taken away by SpaceX, the space division of Bezos himself, also the head of Tesla. .

“It’s more than a battle for space,” says Dan Ives, analyst for the Wedbush Society. “It is a battle of egos.”

It’s “something personal” between the two men, who launched their space partnerships in the early 2000s, and are shoulder to shoulder in the ranking of great fortunes.

Jeff Bezos, 57, and founder of the Blue Origin group, is the richest man in the world with 202,000 million dollars, while Elon Musk, 48, the eccentric patron of Tesla and SpaceX, occupies the third position with 167,000 million dollars, according to Forbes.

This rivalry, which has fueled the interest of the press for years, is crystallized today in two major projects to develop broadband internet and connected objects, and that of manned flights into space, in the form of missions or tourism.

The development of space projects is done through successful public contracts proposed mainly by NASA and the US military, which are increasingly outsourcing to the private sector, allowing these companies to have considerable budgets to develop programs for commercial purposes.

In this regard, Elon Musk has a clear advantage today.

SpaceX, with its Starlink network, has put hundreds of satellites into orbit with its own shuttle, while Jeff Bezos, who plans to invest 10 billion dollars in his Kuiper satellite constellation, has not yet launched any satellites after having suffered delays in the development of its first rocket.

Musk has also achieved a psychological advantage over Bezos in the field of this, the “cloud” (cloud)

Microsoft’s Azure division, a specialist in remote computing, teamed up with SpaceX in late 2020 on a $ 10 billion project, following a Pentagon tender won by Azure against Amazon, the giant founded by Jeff Bezos.

SpaceX “has acquired a certain degree of trust with NASA,” notes Xavier Pasco, director of the Strategic Research Foundation.

Thus, the Elon Musk space society guarantees the regular supply of the International Space Station (ISS) since 2012, and brings astronauts from NASA and other agencies to it, in recent days for the last time.

“The simple fact (that SpaceX) is certified to send astronauts is a very important stage,” says Pasco.

“Blue Origin (the aerospace transport company founded by Bezos) does not have that confidence, since it is not operational,” continues the expert. This has enraged Bezos, forcing him to challenge several of these public markets in court.

Indeed, the head of Amazon lives obsessed with this space project, and dreams of colonizing space, while he mocks Elon Musk’s dream of wanting to colonize Mars.

“I tell my friends that they want to colonize Mars, that they go first to spend a year at the summit of Everest and tell me how they feel, because (Everest) is a paradise next to” Mars, he said at a conference in 2019 , without citing Musk.

But beyond the battle of the egos, there is the financial battle.

“Bezos and Musk know that the winner of the next space battle will be crowned in a year or two,” says Dan Ives. And the financial returns from this huge market will really start in 15 to 20 years, and could amount to several hundred billion dollars, he explains.