Investors for Private Space Companies all Computer Geeks

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arobie

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I remember seeing something like this once on these boards. I think it was lost in the crash. I know Paul Allen is scaled composites investor. I am wondering which of computer entrepreneurs are investing in space efforts, and which effort are they investing in.
 
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jcdenton

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I have to confess, I'm ignorant as to how many major computer entrepreneurs support space technology. However I know that another team in the X-Prize competition, Armadillo Aerospace is lead by John Carmack, who is surprisingly a leading 3D graphics programmer in the PC game industry! He co-founded Id Software which has revolutioned game engines with titles such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Doom III (recently released). Rocketry is a passion of his which is why he decided to form his own company and enter the X-Prize race.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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radarredux

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Here are some of the efforts I am familiar with. I am not sure who calls the shots with GoldenPalace, and Bigelow's background isn't high tech.<br /><br />Paul Allen (Scaled Composites) -- Microsoft (college degree?)<br /><br />John Carmack (Armadillo) -- Id Software (note: no college degree)<br /><br />Elon Musk (Space X) -- PayPal<br /><br />Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) -- Amazon.com<br /><br />Anousheh & Amir Ansari (Ansari X Prize) -- Telecom Technologies, Inc.<br /><br />?? (da Vinci) -- GoldenPalace.com<br /><br />Robert Bigelow (Bigelow Aerospace) -- Budget Suites of America
 
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lunatic133

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I've heard it was the old days of Apollo that inspired them all to go into computing in the first place. It makes sense, then, that they would all support private industry in space, more or less as a way of "giving back."
 
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arobie

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I had never thought about that. It makes sense. That's very cool.
 
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jcdenton

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I think the space and computer industries are greatly intertwined. Computer industry tycoons can benefit greatly when space travel thrives since computer technology is a major component of it. The space program can also do the reverse and bring many new valuable technologies to the economy. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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I would be nice if Billy Gates jumped onboard a project like the rest above mentioned. Crikey, he could possibly fund a couple of replacement Shuttles! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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jcdenton

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I don't know, the <i>Bill</i> is more of a philanthropist than a venture capitalist. He wouldn't fund any research or technology unless it was under the MS banner. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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scottb50

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Reverse psychology. Right? I doubt Bill is on this forum. But who knows?? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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nah. BG won't be hanging out here, he might follow Paul Allens interests though.<br /><br />One things for sure, if i had Bills fortune, i wouldn't be hanging in cyperspace, more like swinging with a couple of Pam Andersons on a yacht swilling piss in the Bahamas <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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Ok, for the rest of the dumbasses like me, heres what philanthropist means. Courtesy of dictionary.com.<br /><br />1)The effort or inclination to increase the well-being of humankind, as by charitable aid or donations. <br /><br />2)Love of humankind in general. <br /><br />3)Something, such as an activity or institution, intended to promote human welfare.<br /><br />I had it confused with someone who collects stamps <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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jcdenton

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I know what it means, my point is that he donates money to aids and other humanitarian organizations rather than invest in new technology. I've never seen him do it and I can't imagine he'll invest in space travel unless he can get some deal going where Windows is installed on every vessel's computer! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">my point is that he donates money to aids and other humanitarian organizations rather than invest in new technology.</font>/i><br /><br />The following link is from a discussion on Gates' other investments. I am aware of some of his investments (e.g., Corbis -- from which I have bought pictures), but since his investments are through a private company (Cascade Investment LLC), there is no public record.<br /><br />http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=15442<br /><br />Here are some of the companies from that link (the link has more companies and links to information on them):<br /><br />ICOS Corporation (drug company)<br />Corbis (owns rights to lots of famous photos)<br />TeleDesic (another Internet in the sky attempt)<br />Corixa (medical research)<br />Seattle Genetics (bio-tech)<br />Pain Therapeutics (drug development for pain)<br />Alaska Air Group<br />Liberty Satellite & Technology (movies in your hotel)<br />...</i>
 
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jcdenton

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Well those medical companies are definitely in line with his philanthropist image, the others seem to be related to his company's portfolio. Internet in the sky (can anyone say MSN?), movies in your hotel (could go hand in hand with Ultimate TV). <br /><br />These ones elude me though, Corbis (he wants to invoke a Big Brother image of himself?), Alaska Air Group (Alaska, his future base of operations?). <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I know he has invested in CN (Canadian National), a railway company. Part of his elaborate scheme to take over our country. <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">Well those medical companies are definitely in line with his philanthropist image</font>/i><br /><br />My interpretation is that these are companies that have large upside potential as the baby boomer generation ages (erection drugs, pain drugs, etc.). Perhaps (very) slightly related, Corbis owns the rights to many of the images that define the 20th Century, so as baby boomers start to get nostalgic in their old age, Corbis will be happy to sell them the images that helped define their lives.<br /><br />I think a lot of this is for the money. Later he may plow that money into philanthropic activities, but if you are willing to invest in the long term (5-15 years) these are the company groups that should make money.<br /><br />Also, if Gates simply buys the common stock on the market, it doesn't help the company. It is only when Gates gives money directly to the company (in return for stock -- which dilutes everyone else's share) does the investment directly benefit the company by providing a cash infusion.<br /><br />[side bar]Having lived the last 20 years in a college town I always see people who want to save the world, save the forrest, save the <i>whatever</i>. Having seen what Gates has done and is doing, I realized if these college kids really want to make a difference, they should identify a career that makes money (lawyers, engineers, bio-technology), hit the books, work hard in their career, live below their means, and invest their excess cash each year in long-term investments. Years later they will have the cash to really make a difference -- buy the forrest; buy food, medicine, and clean water for the kids; buy textbooks and other equipment for their schools.<br /><br />In short, if you are a liberal who wants to make a difference, stop marching in the street and instead buckle down on the books in a field that can make some money, put on a suit and tie, work hard, and invest.[/side bar]</i>
 
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