Bill Gates Says, Unlike Elon Musk, 'I'm Not A Mars Person' And Would Rather Spend Money On Vaccines Than A Trip To Space

Tech giants Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are pouring significant resources into private space travel, with ambitious plans to create thriving colonies beyond Earth's atmosphere. 

But Microsoft Corp. Co-Founder Bill Gates is taking a different approach, focusing his attention on challenges closer to home. 

During an appearance on Kara Swisher's "Sway" podcast, Gates explained his decision not to join the space race with Bezos and Musk. 

"No, I'm not a Mars person. I know a lot of Mars people," he said. "I don’t think rockets are the solution. But maybe I'm missing something there."

He expressed little enthusiasm for spending his money on a space ticket, preferring to use it to purchase life-saving measles vaccines for $1,000 — a fraction of the cost of a trip to space.

Gates, Musk and Bezos are the top five wealthiest men in the world, with a combined net worth of $512 billion dollars, according to Forbes.

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Musk's vision involves using SpaceX's rockets to transport 1 million people to Mars by 2050, aiming to establish a self-sustaining city on the Red Planet in preparation for potential future catastrophes on Earth.

Bezos's company Blue Origin is focused on facilitating lunar bases and space colonies that could potentially house up to 1 trillion people. Both SpaceX and Blue Origin are working on reusable rockets to reduce the cost of space travel significantly.

Gates emphasized the importance of addressing climate change and reducing emissions in industries that are challenging to make greener, such as steel, meat and cement. 

In an interview with the BBC earlier this year, Gates was asked about his thoughts on Musk and philanthropy. The interviewer inquired whether Gates would encourage Musk to join the ranks of mega-philanthropists, referring to Gates and Warren Buffett, co-creators of The Giving Pledge, an initiative where hundreds of the world's wealthiest commit to donating the majority of their earnings to charity.

In response, Gates expressed his belief that Musk has the potential to become a great philanthropist in the future. He acknowledged the positive impact of ventures like Tesla Inc., even though they may not be explicitly considered forms of philanthropy. 

Gates also remarked that, apart from Musk's occasional trips to Mars, which could be costly, he doesn't foresee the SpaceX CEO spending most of his fortune on personal pursuits. 

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