Crazy diamonds

YURI MILNER, a Russian internet billionaire, wants to answer the great existential question: “Are we alone in the universe?” He has already launched a project to listen for signals from outer space, using two of the world’s biggest radio telescopes. This month he also unveiled plans to send an armada of tiny spaceships, powered by laser beams and equipped with all sorts of sensors, to Alpha Centauri, 40 trillion kilometres away.

Sir Richard Branson, the boss of the Virgin Group, and Elon Musk, the entrepreneur running Tesla, a car company, have both founded space ventures, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX. Sir Richard wants to turn space tourism into an industry; Mr Musk lists his ultimate goal as “enabling people to live on other planets”. Once upon a time the space race was driven by the competition between capitalism and communism. Now it is driven by the competition between individual capitalists.

Space is not the only frontier that billionaires want to conquer. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, hopes to give meat a makeover by growing it from stem cells. Mr Musk desires to “reinvent” railways by shooting passengers down...

via Business Feeds

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