Space travel is serious business. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced plans to invest $1 billion USD into Richard Branson‘s array of space-travel-related companies in the name of a “modern, diversified economy.”
Funds for both Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit will help them secure their ambitious plans. Galactic is aiming to send passengers into the atmosphere before the end of 2018, while Orbit’s goal is to send small satellites into space. Other space-exploration expenditures have similarly lofty goals — Elon Musk‘s SpaceX is aiming to populate both the moon and Mars within a decade and Jeff Bezos‘ $1 billion USD-funded Blue Origin wants to bring tourists to space in under one year.
The investment has also spurred Branson’s programs to further consider point-to-point travel — a concept in which passengers travel around the Earth at extremely high speeds, a concept Musk has also shown interest in. Either way, Virgin Galactic and Orbit are showing no signs of slowing down.