Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who funded the development of the X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne, is considering new projects in commercial spaceflight, he said in an interview this week. Interviewed Monday night by Charlie Rose on his eponymous show, Allen tackles a wide range of questions, including, about 26 minutes into the interview, commercial spaceflight. “A lot of people talk about the privatization of space. What’s the future?” asks Rose.
Allen then describes the general concept of suborbital space tourism, “and then after that, at some point, you’re going to have orbital space tourism,” he said. Rose asked if Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos was involved in this field, which Allen confirmed: “Right, right, he’s very secretive about some of those things.” Then he added, almost offhandedly, “and I think it’s an area where I’m considering doing further initiatives.” Asked by Rose what he would like to do, Allen wasn’t specific, talking in general about the difficulties of orbital spaceflight versus suborbital.
Allen also praised the work done by Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX. “Elon Musk has done some amazing, amazing things with the boosters he’s developed to take people and cargo to space,” Allen said. At that point, Rose turned his attention to another Musk company, electric car maker Tesla, and that was it for the space segment of Rose’s show.