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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak joins the Billionaire space race with launch of Privateer Space


Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak announced he is starting a space company called Privateer – making him the latest, and maybe most unlikely, newcomer to the billionaire space race.

The venture was revealed on Twitter in a cryptic tweet published at 10pm ET Sunday, which reads: ‘A Private space company is starting up, unlike the others.’

Wozniak also shared a video with the news, which  focuses on people working together, rather than one company pushing to tackle space travel, along with ideas that the firm will be eco-friendly.

The one-minute video does not provide any details about the venture, only ending with ‘the sky is no longer the limit.’

However, the video caption on YouTube says more information will be revealed at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies (AMOS) Conference that will take place from September 14 through the 17th.

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak announced he is starting a space company called Privateer – making him the latest, and maybe most unlikely, newcomer to the billionaire space race

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak announced he is starting a space company called Privateer – making him the latest, and maybe most unlikely, newcomer to the billionaire space race

Wozniak is a computer scientist best known as one of the founders of Apple and the inventor of the Apple II computer. 

He met the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple while in college and the pair teamed up to form Apple Computer on April 1, 1976, which is now just Apple and ran by CEO Tim Cook.

Wozniak is not going at the new venture alone, but is working with former Apple engineer and Ripcord founder Alex Fielding.

The pair have worked together on numerous occasions in the past, specifically co-founding Wheels of Zeus in 2002 – a company that developed GPS smart tags.

Wozniak is a computer scientist best known as one of the founders of Apple and the inventor of the Apple II computer

Wozniak is a computer scientist best known as one of the founders of Apple and the inventor of the Apple II computer

Wozniak also shared a video with the news, which focuses on people working together, rather than one company pushing to tackle space travel, along with ideas that the firm will be eco-friendly

Wozniak also shared a video with the news, which focuses on people working together, rather than one company pushing to tackle space travel, along with ideas that the firm will be eco-friendly

Privateer has a website, but only includes a broken contact form.

The private company, however, appears to have a goal of ‘working to keep space safe and accessible to all humankind,’ but what the entails has yet to be revealed.

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‘Together we’ll go far,’ according to Privateer Space’s teaser video. 

‘We’ll look out for one another. Solve problems together. This isn’t a race, it isn’t a competition or a game. We are not one person, one company, one nation. We are one planet.’

‘We are explorers. We are dreamers, risk-takers, engineers, and star gazers. We are human, and it’s up to us to work together to do what is right and what is good. So here’s to taking care of what we have, so the next generation can be better together.’

Wozniak has now joined the already saturated private space company business, which includes billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson – all of which are racing to own the cosmos.

Wozniak has now joined the already saturated private space company business, which includes billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson (pictured) – all of which are racing to own the cosmos. Branson launched into space on July 11

Wozniak has now joined the already saturated private space company business, which includes billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson (pictured) – all of which are racing to own the cosmos. Branson launched into space on July 11

Bezos (pictured), Blue Origin founder, made a similar journey 10 days later, when he, his brother Mark and two others ventured 66 mile above Earth.

Bezos (pictured), Blue Origin founder, made a similar journey 10 days later, when he, his brother Mark and two others ventured 66 mile above Earth.

Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, was the first to soar to the edge of space, when he launched on July 11 and spent eight minutes 50 miles above Earth’s surface.

He and his crew reached speeds of Mach 3 on their way to the edge of space.

After a short spell during which they experienced weightlessness, the craft then pointed downwards and made its way back to the ground.

Bezos, Blue Origin founder, made a similar journey 10 days later, when he, his brother Mark and two others ventured 66 mile above Earth.

SpaceX CEO and founder, Musk, has yet to venture into space himself, but is sending the first all-civilian crewed mission into orbit on Wednesday. Musk has, however, purchased his own ticket to ride into space with Virgin Galactic

SpaceX CEO and founder, Musk, has yet to venture into space himself, but is sending the first all-civilian crewed mission into orbit on Wednesday. Musk has, however, purchased his own ticket to ride into space with Virgin Galactic

The other two crew members included 18-year-old Oliver Daemen – the word’s first paying customer to buy his flight – and 82-year-old Wally Funk, who passed NASA’s space program in the 1960s but never made it to space because the women’s flight was canceled.

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The 10-minute journey cost $5.5billion – $550million per minute.

SpaceX CEO and founder, Musk, has yet to venture into space himself, but is sending the first all-civilian crewed mission into orbit on Wednesday.

Musk has, however, purchased his own ticket to ride into space with Virgin Galactic.

THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE: HOW BRANSON, MUSK AND BEZOS ARE VYING FOR GALACTIC SUPREMACY

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin's space capsule

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Dubbed the ‘NewSpace’ set, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk all say they were inspired by the first moon landing in 1969, when the US beat the Soviet Union in the space race, and there is no doubt how much it would mean to each of them to win the ‘new space race’.

Amazon founder Bezos had looked set to be the first of the three to fly to space, having announced plans to launch aboard his space company Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on July 20. 

The billionaire mogul will travel with his younger brother Mark, a charity auction winner who’s shelling out $28 million and pioneering female astronaut Wally Funk, 82.

However, Branson has now announced he’s planning to make a suborbital flight nine days before Bezos and his brother. He revealed on Twitter that he plans to be Astronaut 001 on Virgin Galactic’s July 11 test flight.

Although SpaceX and Tesla founder Musk has said he wants to go into space, and even ‘die on Mars’, he has not said when he might blast into orbit. 

SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the broader billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.  

On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached. 

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission. 

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SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network. 

Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected web of satellites around Earth which will beam down free internet to people worldwide.  

Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a different approach to conquering space. It has repeatedly, and successfully, conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity space plane. 

The first took place in December 2018 and the latest on May 22, with the flight accelerating to more than 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7). 

More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips. 

Branson has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX. 

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it has passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceship will then make a suborbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.   

Bezos is one of the richest men in the world and Blue Origin has successfully flown the New Shepard rocket 15 times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), just above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff.  



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