🚀 Sigh, billionaires going to space is not what's happening now
The news media is focusing on Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos being billionaires going to space. But that is not really what is happening now. For the first time we now have spaceships that can take people who are NOT billionaires to space.
Sometimes the news media is simplistic. OK, often the news media is simplistic.
Richard Branson's net worth is about $5 billion and Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person in the world with over $200 billion.
Therefore the headlines are "Billionaires Going To Space."
There are many opinions pieces of how unnecessary this is and that the money would be better spent elsewhere.
But that is missing the point completely.
For the first time, we now have not one but two spaceships that can take people who are not billionaires to space.
THAT is the news story.
Billionaires have been to space before. Dennis Tito was the first one, paying $20 million to go to the International Space Station.
That is how much it used to cost. Now the cost is going to be around $200.000. Still a lot of money, of course, but 99 percent less expensive than Tito's journey.
Now tens of thousands of people can afford to go to space. That will cut costs even more. It will still be expensive relative to other tourism for the foreseeable future - but hey, you are going to space!
$200.000 is just the beginning. The cost is going to drop even further. I used calculations from Robert Zubrin's book The Case for Space to predict how much – or little – you need to save every month to go to space in ten years.
What these two billionaires have done is build the vehicles to make this possible. That is their achievement. That cost is what should be evaluated.