Forbes has published its annual list of the planet’s billionaires. A small but growing number of them are either directly supporting major space projects or doing so through the companies that they run.
||2015 NET WORTH (BILLIONS)
||SOURCE(S) OF WEALTH
|15||Jeff Bezos||51||$34.8||Amazon.com||Blue Origin|
||$33.4||Global satellite network|
|19||Larry Page||41||$29.7||SpaceX, Planetary Resources, Planetary Ventures, Google Lunar X Prize, Skybox|
|20||Sergey Brin||41||$29.2||SpaceX, Planetary Ventures, Google Lunar X Prize, Skybox|
|43||Charles Ergen||62||$19.8||DISH Network||DISH Network|
|51||Paul Allen||62||$17.5||Microsoft, investments||Stratolaunch Systems, SETI, Mojave Aerospace Ventures (SpaceShipOne)|
|100||Elon Musk||43||$12||PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity||SpaceX|
|137||Eric Schmidt||59||$9.1||SpaceX, Google Lunar X Prize, Planetary Ventures, Skybox|
||64||$4.8||Virgin Group||Virgin Galactic, Planetary Resources, OneWeb|
|1006||Kavitark Ram Shriram||58||$1.9||Google, venture capital||Planetary Resources|
|1105||H. Ross Perot, Jr.||56||$1.8||Computer services, real estate||Planetary Resources|
|1324||Charles Simonyi||67||$1.4||Microsoft||Planetary Resources|
|1415||Peter Sperling||55||$1.3||University of Phoenix||Ecliptic Enterprises|
I’ve added Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to the list this year. His company is reportedly working on a global broadband network that would involve satellites, although details of the plan have not been made public.
I’ve left off Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberte, who came in at number 1006 with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Although he once took a trip to the International Space Station, he is not known to be funding any major space projects at the moment.
Update: I’ve added Charles Ergen and Peter Sperling to the list. Big shout out to Rex Ridenoure over at Ecliptic Enterprises.