‘Whitey On The Moon’: Billionaire Space Race, Gil Scott Heron Poem Compared | NewsOne

(For more on that, see Jeff Bezos — the richest man in the world who, valued at about $187 billion, is also planning to fly to space on July 20 in a spacecraft made by his own company — and Elon Musk, whose SpaceX company continues to launch missions into space. CNBC has acknowledged “the billionaire space race” and said Musk is “winning” it.)

Peeling back a few of the superficial layers, though, exposes the likely true motivations — or, priorities — that are fueling these billionaires’ space expeditions: making more money. Beneath Branson’s aerospace ambitions lie plans to monetize his trip on Sunday by helping to normalize commercial space travel, an industry from which he stands to greatly and further enrich himself. Virgin Galactic CEO referred to it as a  “commercial space endeavor.”

It can’t be ignored that Branson, a British citizen who is worth nearly $6 billion, had his launch paid for by $220 million in New Mexico taxpayers’ funds, according to the New York Times. In fact, Bezos and Musk — among the top three richest men in the world — had their separate space projects funded in part by “a tax break intended to help poor communities,” Bloomberg reported last year.

‘Whitey On The Moon’: Billionaire Space Race, Gil Scott Heron Poem Compared | NewsOne