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Earthbound Billionaires

Posted May 12, 2023

Ray Blanco

By Ray Blanco

Earthbound Billionaires

In July of 2021, a billionaire (who is also not an astronaut) was launched into space.

The move, to many, was considered a tasteless display of wealth, as well as being tone-deaf given that much of the world’s population was discouraged from even leaving their own home due to COVID restrictions. 

So leaving our atmosphere completely came across as somewhat elitist.

Then, less than ten days later, it happened again…

Launching the world’s richest men into space was all the rage two years ago.

This isn’t even mentioning the ongoing endeavors of SpaceX, the pet project of the former Richest Man in the World, who has been open about his hopes to escape to Mars.

In the summer of 2021, it seemed like commercial space flight was the next booming industry. 

While Jeff Bezos, who took his RSS First Step to suborbital space on July 20th 2021, was not the most recent billionaire to leave earth, his return to earth did mark the end of the bizarre trend.

For the moment…

Lower-profile billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has since booked a commercial flight to space, as have Jared Isaacman and Eytan Stibbe, who are both former pilots and trained astronauts.

So what’s the state of commercial spaceflight and space tourism?

Did Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos see everything space had to offer during their combined 25 minutes of spaceflight?

When can you book your family vacation to outer space?

Good news.

Virgin Galactic, who has not launched a commercial space mission since Unity 22 which carried their CEO back in the Summer of Space Billionaires, plans to resume flights in June of this year.

This is good news for Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE), who reported a net loss of $159.4 million in Q1 of 2023.

The Old Frontier

Hopefully, for those still hoping to book a ticket for outer space, one of the most recognizable names in the industry restarting operations could be a shot in the arm for the endeavor of sending civilians out among the stars.

It may seem that tech billionaires have shifted their gaze to new fads, like artificial intelligence or even fusion energy.

However, progress supposedly continues as Virgin executives defend Galactic’s poor revenue numbers and slumping stock price on investments and research towards improving their fleet of spacecrafts.

Blue Origin, the Jeff Bezos founded company, has launched seven space flights since the mission that carried its CEO, six of which were successful.

Unfortunately, the one unsuccessful launch was Blue Origin’s New Shepard most recent attempt, which has grounded the rocket since September of 2022.

The failed launch was an uncrewed scientific mission that ended when the escape capsule system was triggered in error.

SpaceX has remained extremely active in its flight schedule, increasing its launches significantly in 2022…


However, the recent failure of SpaceX’s first Starship rocket test flight has cast a shadow of the state of the company.

Four minutes after liftoff, the rocket failed to separate from its booster and exploded over the Gulf of Mexico.

This further called into question the leadership of CEO Elon Musk, as many wondered if he rushed the launch date due to his fixation on the number 420 (the Starship launched on April 20th).

Whether it’s because they’ve lost interest in the stars, or they’re just experiencing technical difficulties, it seems like these billionaires will have to remain with us on Earth’s surface for a little while longer.

With that, please share your thoughts with us. How do you feel about the “Billionaire Space Race”? Is it a good use of their time and resources? Do you think any of these companies has a clear advantage? Respond to these questions or share whatever is on your mind at

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