The Space Race: 3 Billionaires Who Are Conquering The Cosmos


October 10, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

They've made their fortunes and now, they're investing in their legacy by developing ways to take everyday people into space—be it for "space tourism", or loftier ambitions like saving the human race

Illustration: KY Chan

Elon Musk 

The founder of Tesla and former CEO of Paypal, Musk is worth approximately US$20 billion. SpaceX, which he founded in 2002, designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. Its core business is launching satellites and transporting cargo to the ISS for Nasa. Currently, SpaceX is refining its Dragon capsule to enable it to fly people to the ISS, with the first manned test flight expected within six months to a year. 

But the ultimate goal? To dramatically reduce the cost of space travel by developing reusable booster rockets and capsules, with the ultimate goal of making us a “multi-planetary species.” Musk wants to colonise Mars to protect the human race from extinction.

See also: Rocket Men: Elon Musk, SpaceX

The Space Race: 3 Billionaires Who Are Conquering The Cosmos
Illustration: KY Chan

Jeff Bezos

Having surpassed Bill Gates as the world's wealthiest person, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth a cool US$150 billion. He sells US$1 billion a year in Amazon stock to fund Blue Origin, an aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company which he one day hopes will offer suborbital space tourism to paying customers. He's also working to build larger rockets to deliver payloads into space.

To date, Blue Origin has completed work for Nasa on several small development contracts, and has yet to launch anything for a paying customer. Bezos' is long-term vision is to facilitate millions of people living and working in the cosmos in a bid to “save Earth.”

See also: Rocket Men: Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin

Illustration: KY Chan

Richard Branson 

Richard Branson is worth an estimated US$5.1 billion, accrued across his conglomerate of Virgin businesses. One of the the latest is a venture into space tourism, Virgin Galactic, which will take travellers as far as the Karman line that lies 100 kilometres above the Earth’s surface and constitutes the boundary between its atmosphere and outer space. 

The company has had a few hiccups, to say the least, but Branson is determined. “It will be something like two or three more flights before we’re actually in space,” said Branson in May this year. Stay tuned.  

See also: Rocket Men: Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic

Related Stories

Here's How Hong Kong Tatler Listers Celebrate Christmas

December 10, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

Tatler Takes 5: Raymond Blanc

December 7, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

20 Travel-Inspired Gift Ideas For Globetrotters

December 4, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler


Victoria Tang-Owen’s Photo Diary From Kim Jones’ Dior Pre-Fall 2019 Show In Tokyo

December 3, 2018 | BY Justine Lee


Tatler Travel News: December 2018

November 30, 2018 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

Young And Hungry: 5 Stocks Millennials Are Investing In

November 27, 2018 | BY Nick Ferguson