Gravity: Worth the Wait

10/07/2013 09:52 am ET | Updated Dec 07, 2013

Go see Gravity. You won't be disappointed. No space aliens or even a love story needed for this space adventure starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Just good heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat fun. You'll have a new appreciation for earth's beauty from space and the astronauts and scientists who put it all on the line to research the world around us.

But after seeing it I can tell you that I'm not heading into space anytime soon.

Which is probably a good thing because the American astronaut program may not be going anywhere fast or far anytime soon either. President Obama cancelled NASA's Constellation program in 2010, grounding any plans to take a trip to the moon. And now, NASA, which celebrated its 55th birthday on October 1, has problems hitting closer to home. Some 97 percent of NASA's workers have been furloughed and its website shutdown, just like the government.

However, there is some good news for people who still want to shoot for the moon. All you need is a billion dollars and a big appetite for adventure.

A group of billionaires are all claiming their space among the stars, funding cargo vehicles, rockets and other private space exploration, hoping to get in on what could be the next big financial frontier.

If anybody is going to do it, an entrepreneur might just be the perfect person to get the job done. By nature, entrepreneurs are determined and ambitious, with an incredible desire to succeed. History books are filled with wealthy visionaries, as Roger Launius of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space museum noted in a USA Today article: Howard Hughes with airlines, Henry Rockefeller with the oil industry, and auto pioneer Henry Ford.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, hopes to start commercial trips into space in 2014. His vision is "to democratize space, eventually making commercial space travel affordable and accessible to all" according to a recent statement. And just last week, NBC announced plans for a competition series with Richard Branson called "Space Race" with a grand prize being a trip into space on Virgin Galactica's SpaceShip Two.

Hopefully, these new-age space explorers won't lose their will or their wallets. Costs can get out of control and skeptics caution that the bigger the project, the bigger the cost miscalculation.

But these entrepreneurs aren't only on a money mission; they're on a mission for mankind. "This is smart money investing in one of the largest commercial opportunities ever: going into space to gain resources for the benefit of humanity," says space "ranger" and X Price Foundation chief Peter Diamandis.

Entrepreneurs living their dream and paying their own way. What in the world, or galaxy, could be better than that?

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