Higher, faster, further: the three multi-billionaires Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk are striving into space. Virgin boss Branson kicks off this Sunday, Amazon founder Bezos wants to follow nine days later.
They are all rich, very rich. What they also have in common: The earth is not enough for them, they want to go into space - and in the future they will take tourists with them. Virgin boss Richard Branson, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla boss Elon Musk deliver a race of a special kind.
With manned rockets and private money, they want to achieve what has so far mainly been state space travel under the leadership of the NASA reached. But who are these three men exactly? What is the difference between your all missions - and who has the most followers on the internet? For the launch of Richard Branson's rocket, t-online does the big space billionaire check.
Photo series with 11 pictures
Richard Branson: The head of the Virgin group is the first of the billionaires to fly into space. He will start on July 11th as part of a six-person crew on board the “VSS Unity”. With his space company Virgin Galactic , founded in 2004, operates the first tourist spaceport, Spaceport America in the US state of New Mexico.
Jeff Bezos: He has been in the space business since 2000. It was then that he acquired the Blue Origin company. On July 20th, he wants to go on board the “New Shepard” himself for the first time - exactly 52 years to the day after the first moon landing. Also there: his brother Mark, the 82-year-old US pilot Wally Funk and a previously anonymous bidder for whom the flight was worth a total of 28 million US dollars (almost 24 million euros). During test flights in April, the rocket had reached an altitude of more than 100 kilometers. The plan is to stay in the all for eleven minutes before returning to earth.
Elon Musk: The Tesla-Founder was able to do with his space company, which he founded in 2002 SpaceX In the past few years it has had multiple successes and has already brought astronauts to ISS. He also wants to transport wealthy tourists in the future. Planned start: end of the year.
United under the Virgin brand Richard Branson quite a few different companies. From airlines, railways to cruise ships and now space travel, he makes a lot of his money with mobility. But jewelry, flowers and telecommunications are also part of the company's diverse portfolio. In 2019, Virgin made $ 21,3 billion in sales. The corona crisis hit him most of all Travel part of the group hard.
Amazon , founded by Jeff Bezos, is the global market leader in online trading. The group was able to expand this position again during the pandemic: In 2020, Amazon generated sales of 386 billion dollars (325 billion euros). At the beginning of July, Bezos resigned as Amazon boss. The leadership has Andy jassy adopted.
- Intermediate value high / medium
- Intermediate value mean / low
Tesla is in demand worldwide as an electric car manufacturer. The company of Elon Musk is considered a pioneer among car manufacturers - although German industry giants such as VW and Daimler are catching up. In 2020, the company had sales of $ 31,5 billion.
- Intermediate value high / medium
- Intermediate value mean / low
When it comes to money, there are sometimes big differences between the three billionaires. While Bezos and Musk recently competed for the world's richest place, Branson's bank balance is far behind its two competitors.
- Richard Branson: $ 7,9 billion
- Jeff Bezos: $ 214 billion
- Elon Musk: $ 179 billion
In the social networks, Tesla boss Elon Musk is ahead - not least because he has a large fan base on Twitter and he is considered an influencer for crypto currencies. Branson follows in second place among the Twitter followers. Bezos, who is hardly active in the short message service, has only a fraction of the supporters. While Bezos and Branson also use Instagram, Musk has not had an account there since 2018.
- Richard Branson: 12,5 million on Twitter, 4,2 million on Instagram
- Jeff Bezos: 2,5 million on Twitter, 3 million on Instagram
- Elon Musk: 58 million on Twitter
Born in London in 1950, wrote Richard Branson as a dyslexic bad grades in school and dropped out without a degree. In 1970 he founded the record distribution company Virgin and in 1972 manor Studios, with which he produced the successful record "Tubular Bells" by the previously unknown bassist Mike Oldfield. It made him so much money that he had enough seed capital to start other companies under the Virgin brand, such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Rail and Virgin Galactic.
Jeff Bezos, Born in 1964, studied electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton University. The native American first worked in various jobs at a cell phone company and an asset management company before founding Amazon in 1994. What began as an online bookstore quickly grew into a major online everything seller and the leading company for server and cloud capacities. In 2013 Bezos bought the daily newspaper "The Washington Post".
Born in Pretoria Elon Musk, Born in 1971, South African, Canadian and American citizenship. After high school in South Africa, he studied economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Musk broke off a subsequent physics degree in California after just two days to try his luck as a company founder. He celebrated his first major success as a co-owner of the payment service provider PayPal. With the sale of his shares, he made a $ 1,5 billion profit - his start-up capital for other companies such as SpaceX and Tesla.
Richard Branson is divorced once. He has two children with his current wife, Joan Templeman. Jeff Bezos married MacKenzie Scott in 1993 and they have an adopted daughter and three sons. In 2019, the couple announced their split. Bezos is currently in a relationship with presenter Lauren Sanchez.
Elon Musk was married to the Canadian writer Justine Musk from 2000 to 2008. After the sudden infant death of their first son, the couple had five more children together. From 2010 to 2016, Musk was married to actress Talulah Riley twice in total. A relationship with actress Amber Heard followed. He has been in a relationship with the singer Grimes since 2018, and they have a son together.
Richard Branson loves the extreme. He has already set various world records, including the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon in 1987. He was knighted by the Queen in 1999 for his achievements as an entrepreneur.
Jeff Bezos is less daring apart from his entrepreneurship - except for his separation from MacKenzi Scott: The divorce went down in history as the most expensive in the world. Scott received a stake in Amazon shares valued at around $ 38 billion.
About Elon Musk there would be a number of curious things to tell. However, the name of his son with the singer Grimes recently caused a stir: "X Æ A-12". The pronunciation remains a mystery.