Lambert/ullstein bild/Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images; Blue Origin; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have each spoken at length about their visions for humanity’s future in space.
- Musk, the founder of SpaceX, wants to launch people to Mars, establish a self-sustaining city there, and use the red planet as a base from which to further explore the solar system.
- Bezos, meanwhile, talks of using his rocket company, Blue Origin, to put a permanent base on the moon, build up huge space colonies, and eventually have 1 trillion people living and working in space.
- Although these visions are different, they have strong similarities, too.
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Space is a big place, one rich with resources and adventure for the taking. So if you’re the imaginative type, leaving Earth offers near-limitless opportunities for humanity’s expansion.
Musk, the tech mogul behind Tesla and the founder of SpaceX (a now-$33-billion rocket company), wants to establish a permanent, self-sustaining city on Mars.
Meanwhile, Bezos — the founder and CEO of Amazon — has his own space company, Blue Origin. Its work so far focuses on building a "road to space" with new rockets that could ultimately pave the way for floating colonies.
These two grandiose dreams are markedly different, and their owners occasionally spar about the details. But it’s not inconceivable that their two companies will one day work together in space.
Here’s what Musk and Bezos have said of their ambitious visions, and how they’re different yet also surprisingly similar.
Musk has been obsessed with Mars for decades.
NASA/JPL-Caltech; Dave Mosher/Business Insider
In 2001 — a year before earning $165 million from the sale of PayPal — Musk came up with an idea for a "Mars Oasis" spacecraft and pledged $20 million to send it to the red planet.
The goal was to send a sealed chamber on a spacecraft to Mars, with dry nutrient gel and seeds inside of it. "When you’d land, you hydrate the gel and you have a little greenhouse on Mars," Musk said of the idea in 2012.
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