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War between two Spanish space balloon companies

Capitalism in space: A legal battle is developing between two different Spanish high altitude space balloon companies, one that came first, and a second that is being backed by a venture capitalist who had previously worked at the first.

Jose Mariano Lopez Urdiales, an MIT-trained aeronautics engineer who founded Zero 2 Infinity 11 years ago, says Kemel Kharbachi, the now CEO of EOS X Space, worked closely with the company to raise a €1m investment for Zero 2 Infinity. But the funding deal never happened.

Instead, Kharbachi, whose previous experience has focused on tourism and catering, has emerged to build his own rival space balloon business.

It does appear, from the details outlined in the article, that Kharbachi essentially stole the concept and designs from Zero 2 Infinity in order to form his own company.

As these Spanish companies fight it out, a third company in America, Space Perspectives, hopes to begin flying tourists on its stratospheric balloon, dubbed Neptune, by ’24.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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