Friday, March 3, 2017

Bezos > Musk

I'm going to lay out a prediction here that will be hard to judge for decades. I think Jeff Bezos will prove to be more important than Elon Musk in the to-be-written history of mankind moving out into the cosmos. I'm a big fan of Musk and SpaceX, but I think Bezos has a better focus. Musk is focused on Mars because he wants to settle humanity off Earth as quickly as possible. However it's too soon for Mars. We need regular cheap access to orbit first, then to develop resources and infrastructure in Cis-Lunar space, then the asteroids, and so on. We are a long, long way from being able to settle Mars in a sustainable manner.

By way of comparison, the Vikings discovered and settled the New World centuries before Columbus, but they couldn't do it sustainably. They didn't have sufficient sea faring technology to make for regular trade between the New World and Europe, or for mass immigration. It took Europe several more centuries to build the technology needed for regular trade with and settlement of the New World. I don't think it will take centuries for us to get where we need to be to settle the rest of the Solar system, but we still need to do a lot of work to get there - and Bezos (and Robert Bigelow, and Made In Space, and Planetary Resources, etc.) are the ones doing that work.

If Elon ends up being more important than Bezos, it will because he realizes this and pivots SpaceX's business model to closer to Bezos' current vision.
"Our ultimate vision is millions of people living and working in space. We have a long way to go." - Jeff Bezos

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