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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Captains of space industry
chabot imageWho’s who of entrepreneurs in the “alt.space” movement ?
Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal. Now founder and chief executive of SpaceX, company trying to reduce access to space through cheap satellite launches.
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Now financial backer of Scaled Composites, a company trying to build a cheap suborbital spacecraft.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com. Now behind Blue Origin, a company developing vehicles and technologies that will enable an “enduring human presence in space”.
Dennis Tito, financial entrepreneur, became the world’s first space tourist in April 2001 by paying nearly £20m to launch aboard a Russian rocket to the International Space Station. Interested in investing in suborbital vehicle if the American government can establish a stable and workable regulatory environment.
Steve Kirsch, founder and former chairman of Infoseek. Donor to the Mars Direct project, to simulate Mars exploration on Earth.
Robert Bigelow, entrepreneur and owner of Budget Suites of America hotel chain. Founder of Bigelow Aerospace, which claims it is on schedule to launch an inflatable space structure, Genesis Pathfinder, next year.
John Carmack, software programmer behind the games “Doom” and “Quake”, whose small research and development team, Armadillo Aerospace, is working on computer-controlled hydrogen peroxide rocket vehicles with an eye towards developing X Prize-winning vehicles.
Richard Branson, British music-to-airlines entrepreneur, recently claimed to be investing in a space-tourism venture, without giving many details.


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