For eight years, they thundered aloft in cramped Russian spacecraft from a former Soviet spaceport in Kazakhstan, battling bureaucracy and gravity to blaze a trail across the heavens and redefine what it meant to be a space traveler. No longer would access to orbit be limited to highly trained astronauts chosen on merit and working on behalf of their nations; instead, space would be open to any sufficiently healthy people with enough money and moxie to qualify.
Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s billionaires. There are a record 1,426 individuals with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion in the world. The table below shows the tiny handful of this group — nine individuals — who are currently or have been previously involved in space projects.
Elon Musk has made his first appearance on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires. The 40-year-old entrepreneur has landed at 634 on the list with an estimated net worth of $2 billion.
Musk has developed the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon vehicle to send cargo and crew to the International Space Station. His company, SpaceX, has received money under NASA’s COTS (for cargo) and CCDev (crew) programs. He is also reported to have invested up to $100 million of his own funds into SpaceX.
In addition to his involvement with SpaceX, Musk is a trustee of the X PRIZE Foundation, whose space competitions include the Ansari X Prize, the Google Lunar X Prize and the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.
The South African-born entrepreneur also runs two other companies, the electric car producer Tesla Motors and SolarCity, which provides solar energy systems.
Final bill for Cirque founder’s trip to space could rise another $10 million The Canadian Press
The final tab for Guy Laliberte’s visit to the International Space Station could rise to nearly C$50 million (US$47.2 million) after this week’s elaborate international show linking the Cirque du Soleil founder with his terrestrial counterparts.
The Associated Press reports a bit more on billionaut Guy Laliberte’s plans for his space tourism flight later this month:
The man who plans on being “the first clown in space” said Thursday he’s got some surprises planned for the crew of the international space station.
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte told reporters he plans to tickle the professional astronauts while they’re sleeping, and he’s also bringing red clown noses to try to lighten things up on the orbiting station.
“I’m a person with a pretty high spirit, who’s there to crack jokes and make jokes to those guys, and while they’re sleeping, you know, I’ll be tickling them,” Laliberte said.
AFP reports that when Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte flies into orbit next month on his space tourism joyride, we should be prepared for some wackiness:
Already his screen saver pictures his mission colleagues — US astronaut Jeffrey Williams and cosmonaut Maksim Surayev — in space suits and red clown noses, and he says he will bring six more clown snouts to those now in orbit.
Cirque du Soleil founder ready for tricks in space Orlando Sentinel
A former stiltwalker and fire-eater stole NASA’s show Thursday, saying he’ll be “like a kid in a candy store” experimenting with zero-gravity tricks on his upcoming tourist trip to the international space station.
Pure Entertainment Group Inc, a bespoke event management and luxury concierge company, recently announced a partnership with the only company that provides human space mission to the world marketplace: Space Adventures Ltd.
This partnership allows Pure Entertainment Group to be one of the first and only companies in Canada to offer bespoke space travel experiences to its very demanding clientele, such as space-related adventure tours, sub-orbital and orbital spaceflights, zero-gravity flights and cosmonaut training programs.
Gambling911.com reports that since Guy Laliberte announced his plans to spend $35 million toÂ fly into space in September, he has cut back on online gambling – where he has been losing a fortune.
Innovative, entrepreneurial, a doting philanthropist Guy may all be, but a profitable high stakes online player he is not. All Guyâ€™s aliases – lady marmalade, patatino, elmariachimacho and ahtata, all hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red, have vanished.
Itâ€™s estimated that Guyâ€™s withdrawal means $10 million LESS going into the pockets of sharks Phil Ivey, Phil Galfond and Tom Dwan. His frightening deficits give a strong indication of the brutality of nosebleed stakes, because based on live performances, Guy doesnâ€™t even seem that bad. This is a man who played solid poker on GSNâ€™s High Stakes Poker season four, and has a handsome $696,220 4th placed cash at the WPT Bellagio.
That’s funny. He could pay for a third of his spaceflight just for what he loses in poker.