Monday, November 29, 2010

Talulah Riley in Esquire
Mars Needs Women!!!

Talulah Riley, the new bride of billionaire Space-X owner Elon Musk has gone out of her way to remind us that our next great space race will likely have more than its fair share of sex.

According to the November 26th, 2010 London Evening Standard article "Talulah Riley: how to marry a billionaire" she's even made him a promise:
"I've told him I'll retire with him to Mars, if he has colonized it by then."
Musk (who's mother is Canadian) and his new wife are representative of the current generation of rich, ruthless and ever so slightly crazy space entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of space access using personal fortunes, technical expertise, grit, guts and a great deal of marketing savvy.

The Space-X Dragon capsule has just recently been cleared for commercial re-entry from Earth orbit by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) according to the November 23, 2010 MSNBC article "Space-X's spaceship cleared for commercial re-entry."

Guy Laliberte and Claudia Barilla
Another recent Canadian example of a true space entrepreneur is Quebec philanthropist, poker player and corporate CEO Guy Laliberté who used his 2009 trip to the International Space Station (ISS) not just to drum up interest in his One Drop Foundation (which fights poverty worldwide by ensuring access to water) but also used the resultant publicity to promote Eastern European events for his traveling Cirque du Soleil.

Laliberté also has two children with Montreal fashion model Claudia Barilla.

Other crazy space investors include Paul Allen (the billionaire Microsoft co-founder who funded Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne project), Robert Bigelow (who owns Budget Suites of America and has promised to spend up to $500 million over the next decade to develop a space based hotel/tourist business), Jeff Bezos (who founded and is said to be developing suborbital rockets), Joe Firmage (the founder of USWeb who has given funds to the Planetary Society, Carl Sagan Productions, and the Cosmos 1 solar sail project), Richard Garriott (vice-chariman of Space Adventures and an early investor and trustee of the X-Prize Foundation), Chirinjeev Kathuria (a telecom entrepreneur and MirCorp investor who joined with the Canadian Arrow X-Prize team to form PlanetSpace, a suborbital space tourism company, in 2005) and quite a few others.

According to the Wikipedia list of Canadian's by Net Worth, there are fifty five Canadian billionaires and many of them (including Frank Stronach, Seymour Schulich and Jim Balsillie) are already well known for philanthropy, funding science, supporting education and contributing research money for alternative "breakthrough" or "green" technologies.

It's also useful to note that, while Musk (who lived in Saskatchewan from 1989 to 1992) now lives in California,  Laliberté still lives in Canada and is only 35th on the list of billionaires so there are plenty more rich Canadian still available to run ideas past.

Someone should. There is plenty of Canadians with serious space expertise just waiting for the proper funding and opportunities for commercialization.

Of course, we wouldn't want to scare off any of the cautious billionaires so we shouldn't encourage anything too bizarre, strange, sleazy or just obviously too sexy in the marketing or the R&D mix.

After all, Mars doesn't really need women... Probably...

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