Creating Genius Magazine Winter Issue - Page 56

* Noteworthy I In recent years, some of the most famous names in tech with deep pockets are making space travel somewhat more affordable (if you’re already rich, that is). Most are founding and backing companies that have devised innovative ways to get more humans into space and commercialize an industry that has been mostly overlooked until just recently. Microsoft’s Paul Allen founded Stratolaunch Systems, which produces lightweight planes that are useful for getting people and cargo off the ground. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos founded a similar company, Blue Origins, to enable private human access to space. Richard Branson is also playing the space game with Virgin Galactic, his British commercial spaceflight company within the Virgin Group with ambitious plans to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists. Probably the most outspoken of these obvious intergalactic fanatics and entrepreneurs is Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and now Space X, who is building rockets and capsules to get astronauts to the Creating Genius Magazine | Page 56 International Space Station and eventually excursions to Mars. planets for resources and precious metals be the norm? These spacetrepreneurs are literally developing commercial services of astronomical proportions. The best part is that you can already buy your ticket and reserve a seat. I was more than curious, so I reached out to Kellie Gerardi of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a private industry group incorporated for the purposes of establishing even higher levels of safety for these on-the-rise commercial spaceflights. Kellie was able to shed some light on space travel and why so many entrepreneurs are exploring it as a new avenue for business. Other billionaires are establishing new paradigms for resource discovery. Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt along with Avatar director James Cameron have backed Planetary Resources, a startup equipped to mine nearby asteroids for rare metals. Microsoft's Bill Gates backed Kymeta, a company who uses orbital satellites to make the internet more accessible in vehicles and developing countries. These new space initiatives are on the rise, and I’ve only scratched the surface. There are hundreds of other entrepreneurs founding and investing in companies that are looking to the stars. It’s exhilarating, imaginative and perhaps a little delusional all at the same time. Will we wake up in a tomorrow where space tourism will be common? Will space vehicles crawling asteroids and nearby CG: What are your thoughts on entrepreneurs and their space exploration? Kellie: Every industry milestone is a big deal for us. It’s exciting