We witnessed the start of the next bigspace race. But this time it is not the United States against the USSR. This is a race between Ilon Mask and Jeff Bezos. The aerospace industry has always been driven by competition. In 1927, Charles Lindberg competed with eight other teams to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight and win an Orteig prize of $ 25,000. In the 1960s, it was the race of America and the Soviet Union that led to the appearance of the Sputnik, the flight of Yuri Gagarin and the Apollo 11.
But fast forward to 40 years. In 2004, the Ansari XPRIZE competition for $ 10 million sparked the commercial space industry. And today, in 2019, on the threshold of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11, a competition flares up that will lead people into space on rockets. The fight takes place between two desperate and most talented billionaires: Jeff Bezos and Ilon Mask.
Let's evaluate the possibilities and vision of each of them.
Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin
“We want stagnation and rationing, or do we want dynamism and growth?” - Jeff Bezos
Despite the fact that Jeff has always been passionatespace enthusiast, instead of engaging in aerospace, he first went to Wall Street, founded Amazon, which ultimately brought him personal capital in excess of 150 billion dollars.
Today, Jeff remains faithful to his passion for space, allocating $ 1 billion annually to support his space company, Blue Origin (in honor of Earth).
Blue Origin History
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the goal ofcreate a "future in which millions of people live and work in space." Of course, the first step for any serious space company is to create rockets capable of launching people and payloads from Earth into space. In this category, Jeff has scheduled the release of more and more rockets.
The first of these devices is named afterMercury astronaut Alan Shepard. New Shepard is a Blue Origin suborbital rocket designed for suborbital space tourism. After 10 successful consecutive launches and landings by the end of 2019, New Shepard is expected to deliver its first human astronauts to the suborbital space.
The next unit is the New Glenn rocket.(named after the astronaut John Glenn), which will be able to lift significant loads and people to the moon. Like the Falcon 9 from SpaceX, the New Glenn is designed for multiple use and vertical seating. Blue Origin hopes to launch the New Glenn rocket in 2021.
Immediate target: Blue Moon
In May 2019, during a presentation at the MuseumAviation and Cosmonautics Bezos unveiled Blue Origin's short-term mission to colonize the moon for exploration, scientific missions and the use of resources Bezos regards the Moon as an incredible gift to our cosmic species that will help humanity and space entrepreneurs discover the space economy.
Having significant reserves of frozen water, the Moon can provide fuel (oxygen and hydrogen) and vital elements (oxygen and drinking water suitable for respiration).
As Bezos said in his address on May 9, 2019a year, using resources from the moon instead of delivering equivalents to space from the earth’s surface offers an extraordinary advantage: it takes 24 times less energy to lift one pound from the moon than it takes to lift one pound from the earth.
As a first step in this vision Bezosannounced the Blue Moon landing module, which will go to the moon aboard the New Glenn rocket and gently lower 3.6 metric tons of lunar rovers, cargo and people onto the surface of the moon.
It is important to note that this announcement and the factthat Blue has been working on Blue Moon over the past three years, gives additional confidence to the recent statement by US Vice President Mike Pence: “The stated policy of this administration and the United States of America is to return American astronauts to the Moon over the next five years (2024 ) ".
"It's time to return to the moon, this time - to stay." - Jeff Bezos
Destruction of planetary chauvinism by O’Neal colonies
In his presentation of Blue Moon on May 9, Bezos addedAnother interesting announcement, based on the teachings of the late Gerard O’Neil, a professor of physics at Princeton, the founder of the Space Research Institute. He raised the key question that Professor O’Neil asked his students during the summer educational project, namely: “Is the planet’s surface the best place to live as people move into the Solar System?”
In the end, O’Neil himself determined that the answer to this critical question would be “no”.
Therefore, instead of humanity livedon other planets, O’Neil proposed to mankind to build massive rotating cylinders, now known as O’Neal colonies, from resources that are already outside the planet’s deep gravity well. In particular, from materials from the surface of the moon or from asteroids.
Bezos revived and rethought O’Neill’s workstating that the Blue Origin vision after reaching the Moon should be to support the development of the O’Neal colonies, where humanity can live free from the gravitational forces of the planets. Each rotating colony will be able to maintain an independent population of one million people.
Without undue optimism, Bezos understands thatthe construction of these colonies will stretch over generations and will require overcoming an unimaginable number of engineering tasks along the way. But thanks to Blue Origin, Bezos is implementing a number of the most fundamental preconditions for achieving his vision of the universe of dynamism and growth.
Now let's take a look at the other leading forcesaimed at transforming humanity into a multi-planetary species. A man with incredible engineering skill and foresight, who revised everything that is possible in space.
Ilon Musk and SpaceX
Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and 12 years oldsold my first computer code. A little later, he repeated his success in software development, selling Zip2 for 307 million dollars. After that, Musk created and sold PayPal (formerly X.com) to eBay for $ 1.5 billion.
With $ 180 million in his pocket, Mask decidedaccomplish what he considered the two most important missions for humanity: 1) remove people from fossil fuels with the help of a thriving solar economy; 2) transform humanity into a multi-planet species.
SpaceX: make humanity a multi-planet species
SpaceX was founded in May 2002 asIlona tool for the development of rockets necessary for the withdrawal of mankind from the earth to the surface of Mars. Read the full history of SpaceX, if you're interested. SpaceX is a company born out of bold perseverance and commitment to its goal.
In 2008, after three test failuresrocket Falcon 1 Musk was out of money. Fortunately, after saving capital injections from his friend and co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, SpaceX was a success - on the fourth attempt. In December 2008, SpaceX received a $ 1 billion NASA contract to develop its own vehicle: the Falcon 9.
Falcon 9 transformed the space industry, forcing people to reconsider the edges of the possible, and 10 times reduced the launch cost, making reusable rockets a reality.
While space shuttles coulddelivering valuable cargo to the International Space Station at a price of more than $ 54,500 per kilogram, Falcon 9 did the same work at a price of $ 2,720 per kilogram: 20 times cheaper.
In 2015, SpaceX planted its first Falcon 9. It looked magical. Today, such landings are common: 33 successful landings out of 39 attempts.
The next on the road to developing Falcon wasdemonstration of the Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket to date. Falcon Heavy consists of three modified Falcon 9 missiles, interconnected. In 2018, the rocket sent a red Tesla Roadster in the direction of the asteroid belt. In April 2019, Falcon Heavy made a second flight, perfectly landing all three Falcon 9 boosters.
In addition to delivering large loads to Earth orbit, Falcon Heavy is capable of sending significant loads to the Moon and even to Mars.
But SpaceX’s real workhorse will be Starship. This is the central "star ship" in terms of Mask on the placement of people on the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Musk hinted that the cost of developing Starshipamount to 5 billion dollars. If this is the exact amount, the development of an interplanetary spacecraft will be an order of magnitude cheaper than the $ 50 billion needed to develop the Saturn V that was used in the Apollo program.
The rocket is designed to be able to explore the solar system throughout its length, using Mars and its abundance of resources as a fuel base.
With the help of these devices, SpaceX embodies the vision of Mask: to open the solar system for colonization by human forces.
Long-term goal: to make humanity multi-planet
"I think that in general the future will be much moreexciting and interesting if we are a space civilization and a multi-planet view. You want to be inspired. Want to wake up in the morning and think that the future will be great. That's what it means to be a space civilization. ” - Ilon Musk
Musk views Martian colony as a plan.rescue of mankind in emergency situations and a beacon of inspiration for mankind. Each of the SpaceX launch vehicles is an instrument serving movement towards the construction of colonies and cities on the surface of Mars. The purpose of the Mask is to place people on Mars until 2030 and create a full-fledged city until 2050.
To achieve this goal, Musk and SpaceX plan 10 launches from 2027 to 2050, one launch every 22-24 months, when Earth and Mars are at close range.
In 2017, at the presentation of the InternationalAstronautical Congress Musk announced that these launches will begin in 2024. “I’m sure we can assure the ship and prepare it for launch within five years,” he said. "Five years seems to me a long time."
After Mars, Mask wants to continue exploring the solar system, using Mars as a fuel depot on his way to other planets, moons and asteroids.
The near term: commercialization of the moon
Since the Mask presentation in 2017, withsupported and guided by NASA and the vice president of the United States, SpaceX has reoriented its efforts to develop the Starship and Falcon Heavy in the direction of the Moon, not Mars.
In September 2018, Musk announced plansthe flight of the first private astronauts of SpaceX and the first client of Starship, the Japanese fashion innovator and internationally recognized art curator Yusaku Meyzawa. He will go to the moon in 2023. The contract with Mazawa helps SpaceX fund the development of Starship.
Mazawa's goal is to inspire the world to art, taking with him eight artists who will join the Japanese in his mission to the moon.
If you had a choice, which artists would you send with Mazawa?
SpaceX won one of NASA's 11 contracts to begin developing a Falcon Heavy compatible lunar landing module.
Although SpaceX did not provide details of its concept of the lunar module, it is possible that SpaceX uses its missile landing skills in order to land Starship directly to the Moon.
Both Bezos and Musk are driven by their passion and faith inthat the final future of humanity requires our entry into space. Both are developing private, reusable vehicles carrying people, and both are heading towards the moon in the near future.
In addition to these similarities, Musk goes to the surface of Mars, and Bezos - to the construction of large space colonies.
One thing is certain: no matter who succeeds, everything that mankind has ever appreciated on Earth — metals, minerals, energy, real estate — is in space in almost infinite quantities, and the greatest wealth will come to those who touch the stars first.
Thanks to people like Ilon Musk and JeffBezos, we are on the verge of accessing this endless storage of materials and energy for the further expansion of humanity and our progress. We will see the greatest economic boom in human history, which will lead to a period of prosperity beyond our comprehension.
The work that Mask and Bezos are doing today may be most important for the continuation of our species. Do you agree? Tell us about our chat in Telegram </a>.