Musk vs. Bezos: Whose philosophy will get him to space first?

The billionaires are both looking to the stars, but each has a different dream for space colonization.

  • The billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are driving the private space sector, however, they both have different motivations and goals for doing so.
  • For Musk, space colonization is a matter of saving the human species — having a Plan B. For Bezos, he believes Earth can be saved and transformed into a "residential only" zone. Goods from industrial manufacturing would be outsourced from space colonies.
  • One big concern regarding Bezos' plan is whether his company's presence in space would someday constitute a monopoly of extraterrestrial industry.
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Outer space capitalism: The legal and technical challenges facing the private space industry

The private sector may need the Outer Space Treaty to be updated before it can make any claims to celestial bodies or their resources.

  • The Outer Space Treaty, which was signed in 1967, is the basis of international space law. Its regulations set out what nations can and cannot do, in terms of colonization and enterprise in space.
  • One major stipulation of the treaty is that no nation can individually claim or colonize any part of the universe—when the US planted a flag on the Moon in 1969, it took great pains to ensure the world it was symbolic, not an act of claiming territory.
  • Essentially to do anything in space, as a private enterprise, you have to be able to make money. When it comes to asteroid mining, for instance, it would be "astronomically" expensive to set up such an industry. The only way to get around this would be if the resources being extracted were so rare you could sell them for a fortune on Earth.
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China grew a plant on the moon — it sprouted two leaves, data indicates

It marks the first time a plant has been grown on the moon.

Image source: Chongqing University
  • In January, China became the first nation to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon.
  • Chang'e-4 lunar rover carried among its payload a small biosphere that housed six lifeforms, including cotton seeds.
  • Using data from that biosphere experiment, researchers constructed a digital image of the cotton plant that reveals it grew two leaves before dying from the cold.
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Crashed Israeli lunar lander could have spilled 'water bears' on moon

Tardigrades – commonly called "water bears" – were among the payload of an Israeli lunar lander that crashed into the moon in April.

  • An Israeli spacecraft carrying tiny animals called tardigrades crashed onto the moon in April.
  • It's unclear whether humans would be able to revive the tardigrades, which were in a dehydrated state.
  • Tardigrades have a unique protein that enables them to survive intense levels of radiation.
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Neom, megacity with its own moon, dinosaurs, and robots, reaches next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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