The space launch market is becoming increasingly important both in terms of numbers and in terms of revenues. Through the data released by BryceTech we can look at the data for the third quarter of 2021. According to what was reported, China through the CASC (Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Company) carried out more space launches during the quarter, touching 15 launches against 3 of reality like SpaceX for the United States. But there is much more also thanks to the comparison with the second quarter of this year. China and the US dominate the space launch market Also according to the information released by BryceTech, between the 15 launches of CASC and the 3 of SpaceX Arianespace ranks with 5 while Roscosmos is in fourth position with 2 launches. In Q3 2021, companies such as ULA, Firefly, Astra, iSpace, Northrop Grumman, Rocket Lab and Expace made a single launch. This account, however, as recalled by those who defined the table, also includes failed launches as in the case of Firefly. By way of comparison, in the previous quarter (Q2 2021), there were 11 launches of SpaceX and CASC respectively. 3 instead were those of Roscosmos and Arianespace, 2 those of ULA and Northrop Grumman and 1 Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab and the Iranian space agency. If we consider the number of spacecraft / satellites launched (regardless of operation), Arianespace dominates the ranking with 111 units, followed by SpaceX with 61, CASC with 30. The other companies are all further down in the rankings. Altogether 226 spacecraft / satellites were launched with 73% being for telecommunications. Only 12 were for data collection from space and 2% were manned or with cargo destined for space stations. Furthermore, 90% were smallsats which, however, concern only 24% of the mass. In the last quarter 577 spacecraft / satellites were launched with 83% related to telecommunications.
Elon Musk founded the SpaceX aerospace enterprise in 2002 – a year before Tesla – with the intent of colonizing Mars. After 20 years, the red planet has not yet been colonized, but the spacecraft factory has made Elon Musk the richest man in the world, with 223 billion. In Bloomberg’s rankings, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos fell relentlessly to second place, with $ 191.6 billion. Its assets have remained essentially stable from 2020, as have Amazon shares. Bill Gates for his part suffered the backlash of the divorce from Melinda. Not to mention Zuckerberg, who in the first week of October saw his fortune drop by six billion dollars due to the downturn of Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram.
But if Elon flies, his ultra billionaire colleagues certainly do not cry misery. Bloomberg also calculates that the massive injection of liquidity into the economy by central banks in the year of the pandemic has increased the wealth of the richest by $ 742 billion in 2021 alone, and the year has yet to end. Meanwhile, the only man in the world with more than $ 200 billion in personal assets is completing the move of his Tesla from Silicon Valley to Texas.
California alone is the fifth largest economy in the world, but the high cost of housing ($ 834,000 the average price of a family home in the state and $ 1.66 million in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara) and the huge tax burden they are making a place less attractive than in the past for innovative companies. A puts the burden of nineties on the lesser attractiveness of the southwestern state of the United States, the dramatic fires of recent years. The move from Palo Alto to Austin is not the end of Tesla’s presence in California, Musk says. Also the billionaire, says that in the Bay Area “there is no room to climb”. In any case, California remains – for now – a hotbed of talents and innovative startups, thanks above all to its prestigious universities and research centers. The migration of companies even so symbolically important represents a wake-up call not to become a really difficult environment for new talents.
“Space? We have a lot to do here on Earth”, were the words of Bill Gates in response to a question from James Corden during the last interview. Corden questioned the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft about some billionaires’ interest in space travel, but it seems Gates is more interested in getting rid of diseases like malaria and HIV before thinking about building life on other planets.
“I’ve become obsessed with things like malaria and HIV and getting rid of those diseases, and I’ve gotten to bore people at parties by just talking to them about diseases,” Gates said. The interview was conducted via Zoom as part of a special “Climate Night” edition of the “Late Late Show with James Corden” on Wednesday. During the interview, the comedian thanked Gates for “being the only billionaire who is not trying to escape from Earth in a spaceship”.
Gates’ comment comes at a time when Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are wasting much of their efforts to expand man’s presence in space. SpaceX has completed the first in-orbit mission composed exclusively of civilians, Inspiration4, Bezos and Richard Branson have made the first flights into space inside their respective private aircraft. But what does space have to do with climate problems on Earth?
Gates teases Musk and Bezos: it is better to fight malaria and HIV on Earth than to travel to space
In reality, there is a strong connection: both Bezos and Musk intend to use the consequences in space to compensate for the problems of climate change on Earth. Musk in this case plans to colonize Mars, Bezos wants to mobilize high-pollution industries on other planets. All in a context of strong opposition: in recent days, for example, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has criticized the huge expenses made for space travel, while “millions meet fame on Earth”.
Both Bezos and Musk have responded in the past to strong criticism of what may appear to be billionaire whims. Bezos partly agrees with the opponents, but also stated that “we have to do both”: “We have many problems here on earth, we have to work on those but we also have to look to the future, we have always done it as a species and as a civilization” , her words.
Musk has never traveled to space, at least until today, but he was critical of his SpaceX. His comment on this can be found in a Netflix documentary on Inspiration4: “I think we spend the vast amount of our resources to solve problems on Earth. For example, 99% of our economy should be dedicated to solving problems on Earth. But I also believe it is worth investing at least 1%, or even less than 1%, for life beyond the Earth. “
On the other hand, the equally billionaire Gates has shown a radical approach: years with the Gates Foundation he invests hundreds of millions of dollars in public health, risking to fight malaria and HIV, or even fighting diseases for equity on the anti covid-19 vaccine. .
The SpaceX mission “Inspiration4”, the first space mission with a crew of only four private citizens without any previous astronaut training, started in the Italian night. For the next three days, the four “civilians” aboard the Crew Dragon will travel in low earth orbit, flying over 90% of the inhabited land of planet Earth
The Insiration4 space mission, the first in the world entirely civilized by SpaceX, left at 8 pm (2 am in Italy). On board the Crew Dragon “Resilience” that now orbits over our heads, in fact, there are four people who have never carried out any specific training as an astronaut, other than that given by SpaceX in view of the mission. Of the four people on board, only one is a billionaire, the venture’s financier Jared Isaacman. The other three are “normal” people (at least by the standards that astronauts have accustomed us to): geoscientist Sian Proctor, engineer Christopher Sembroski and Dr. Hayley Arceneaux (the first person in space with a prosthesis). Each of the four crew members was assigned a call sign for communications during the mission: “Rook” for Isaacman, “Leo” for Proctor, “Nova” for Arcenaux and “Hanks” for Sembroski “Hanks”.
Inspiration4 has left Earth from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the embarkation point for the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions, and for the next three days it will travel overhead flying in low Earth orbit, possibly even higher. of the International Space Station (which is about 390 kilometers high). The four crew members were selected by SpaceX on the basis of four different human characteristics that well represent the spirit with which the earthlings are facing the future of space exploration: leadership, prosperity, generosity and hope.
The mission’s goal is completely new in the space exploration landscape: not scientific research but charity. In fact, the purpose of Inspiration4 is to raise 200 million in funds for childhood cancer research conducted by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the most advanced centers in the world. Anyone can somehow “finance” this space mission by sending their donation. Beyond the nice gesture, SpaceX revolutionizes space once again, no longer a frontier, but an absolutely familiar place for both those who leave and those who remain on the ground, which can feel much more involved in the new space age of humanity than it is. it could do so earlier with missions run by state space agencies.