Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently questioned Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s quest to colonize Mars. At a press briefing, Bill Gates opined that Musk’s long-standing ambition to colonize Mars is not a good use of money.
According to the co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, money for Mars would better serve humanity by facilitating the development of vaccines. Gates also suggested that he does not consider his fellow billionaire a good philanthropist, given his current priorities. However, the former Microsoft chairman added that his opinion of the Tesla boss’s philanthropic nature may change someday.
Referring to Musk’s most famous company, Gates explained:
“Things like Tesla have a positive impact, even without being a form of philanthropy. I think someday he will join the ranks of philanthropists by using his ingenuity.”
Furthermore, when asked why funding vaccine development was a better use of resources than sending people to Mars, Bill Gates replied that “it actually costs quite a bit to go to Mars. You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for a thousand dollars per life saved.“
Emphatic in his assessment of priorities and the potentially rewarding feeling of positively impacting more lives, Gates concluded, “Don’t go to Mars.“
Mars development marks the latest “media clash” between Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
Bill Gates and Elon Musk have often clashed over the years, even before the development of Mars colonization came up. Last April, the Tesla CEO revealed that he had asked Gates if he was shorting Tesla – betting that the EV company’s stock value would plunge. This development suggests that Musk felt the Microsoft co-founder was not on his side.
However, in an earlier instance, Gates took the safer route when questioned about whether he was indeed shorting Tesla’s stock. In an interview with CNBC in February 2021, the veteran American business mogul said:
“I don’t talk about my investments, but I think he should be very proud of what he did.”
In an Interview with Bloomberg also two years ago, Bill Gates touched on a host of current topics, including bitcoin (BTC), Covid’s evolution and misinformation on social media. The Microsoft billionaire’s response seemed innocuous when he was asked about Tesla and Musk’s claims of shorting TSLA stock. At the time, Bill Gates said he wished “be more on the long side” of the electric vehicle company.
In 2020, when Gates revealed that he had purchased an all-electric Porsche Taycan, one Twitter user asked why the Microsoft visionary hadn’t opted for Tesla. Musk also expressed nonchalance about Gates’ automotive choice of EVs and suggested that the relationship between the two billionaires was poor. According to Elon Musk at the time, “My conversations with Gates were disappointing“.
Musk has long nurtured plans to transport people to Mars through his exploration company SpaceX. So far, the spacecraft manufacturer, launch vehicle and satellite communications company has spent lavishly to bring Musk’s vision to fruition.
Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, with the intention of reducing the cost of space transportation to enable the colonization of Mars.