• Thato Mathebula


“To infinity and beyond” a famous catch phrase that may ring a bell to young adults who grew up watching the famous toy story films. The phrase represents a variety of perspectives including limitless possibilities and challenging what is possible for mankind.

Earth is one planet amongst seven, including billions of stars within its solar system. Although there are multiple debates as to whether earth is flat or round, If the US moon landing of 1969 was real and if there are other life forms in our galaxy and beyond, humans have always observed and tried to find answers to what they don’t understand and cannot control.

Multiple studies and projects have been launched over the years to discover what is beyond planet earth and how that may affect it. Studies and projects have resulted in humans being launched into space to confirm or add to conclusions made about what is beyond earth.

Between 1955 and 1975 the USA and Soviet Union were engaged in a geopolitical conflict that ultimately involved proving who’s political and economic ideologies were superior. This was a battle between capitalism and communism for the entire world to see.

Both superpowers were convinced that advancing their space exploration programs would contribute to giving them the upper hand in the cold war resulting in the space race. History is now repeating itself as a new space race is underway.

This time around the race is between world famous billionaires. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have been engaged in space programs to discover what is possible for humans living on other planets or in space and space tourism.

Although some may be excited by the possibilities presented by these programs there are others who feel they highlight the flaws of capitalism. These space programs especially in the aspect of space tourism are currently tailored for niche luxury markets, making them exclusively available to high net worth individuals who can afford them.

Is the billionaire space race ground-breaking and positive for the future of mankind or is it a display of greed and recklessness? Do billionaires have a responsibility to aid social issues worldwide or is wanting more something they should not be judged for?

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