Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the moon, and he is investing $1 billion a year in space exploration. But he’s not alone. Leaders and influencers Richard Branson and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are also front runners in the billionaire CEO space race.
One small step for mankind, one giant leap for Amazon’s share price. At least that’s what Jeff Bezos will be hoping. Having conquered the online shopping market, the Amazon CEO now has his sights set on colonising the moon.
“I think we should build a permanent human settlement on one of the poles of the moon,” Bezos said on Geekwire. “It’s time to go back to the moon, but this time to stay.”
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Like any self-respecting billionaire Bezos has his own spaceship company, Blue Origin. He funds it by selling $1 billion in Amazon stock each year.
Bezos plans to use Blue Origin to deliver equipment to the Moon so that robots can build a colony there.
“We would like to set up a cargo service for that,” he says. “We have architecture and technologies that would allow us to soft-land large amounts of mass on the moon, which would be necessary if you’re going to build a permanent human settlement there.”
Bezos has already pitched the idea to NASA.
So Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wants to colonise the moon. But Bezos isn’t the only business icon shooting for the stars. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, “the world’s first commercial spaceline”, aims to ferry people back and forth to Mars.
Cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking is latest public figure to sign up. In addition, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have reportedly paid up to $250,000 for a ticket.
Not to be outdone, Elon Musk’s SpaceX project aims to put a human on Mars, possibly as soon as 2025. The Tesla CEO sent out a tweet shortly after the successful landing of his refurbished Falcon 9 rocket.
In it, he revealed his next goal is to turn around rockets for reuse within 24 hours, similar to airliners.
Sperm banks in space?
In other cosmic news, scientists have overseen the birth of healthy baby mice using freeze-dried sperm stored in space.
The samples were kept in near-weightlessness on board the International Space Station (ISS) for nine months. They were then sent back down to Earth and thawed at room temperature by Japanese scientists.
Although sperm DNA was slightly damaged by the trip, it still fertilised mouse eggs, creating healthy “space pups”.
The team at Yamanashi University believe sperm banks could be created on the Moon in case of doomsday on Earth.
“Underground storage on the Moon, such as in lava tubes, could be among the best places for prolonged or permanent sperm preservation because of their very low temperatures, protection from space radiation by thick bedrock layers, and complete isolation from any disasters on Earth,” they said.
Read about the latest medical news, views and innovations in Practical Patient Care, Medical Device Developments, and World Pharmaceutical Frontiers.
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