'Don't Go to Mars': Bill Gates Shades Elon Musk's Plans to Spend Money on Mars Missions

The two billionaires have had a longstanding feud after Musk accused Gates of shorting Tesla stocks last spring.

learn more about Emily Rella

By Emily Rella

Getty Images

Elon Musk and Bill Gates have never exactly been the best of friends, but now Gates is taking a jab at Musk's Mars aspirations in a new interview with the BBC.

Sitting with Amol Rajan, Gates talked about hot topics like artificial intelligence and its future potential to "pretty dramatically" transform the world, longstanding COVID conspiracy theories, and his divorce from now ex-wife Melinda French.

But one topic that piqued viewers' interest was the mention of Musk — and whether or not Gates foresees the SpaceX CEO becoming more involved with philanthropy later in his life.

Related: Bill Gates Surprisingly Praises Elon Musk Following Leaked Altercation: 'You Wouldn't Want to Underestimate Elon'

"At the end of the day I don't think he'll, other than going to Mars a few times, which might cost a little bit, I don't think he'll want to spend it on himself," Gates said, subtly digging at Musk's very publicized goal to have his space exploration company SpaceX send a crewed flight to Mars by 2030. "So yeah, someday I think he will join the rank of philanthropists using his ingenuity."

Rajan then asked Gates whether or not he thought Musk deciding to go to Mars (whether he was self-funding the mission or using funds from elsewhere) was a "good use of money" to which the billionaire stood firm in his opinion.

"Not in my view," Gates said before agreeing with Rajan's commentary that there are more pressing things to do on Earth first. "It's actually quite expensive to go to Mars. You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for $1,000 per life saved, and so it just kind of grounds you, as in, don't go to Mars."

Related: 'I Give a Lot More Money to Climate Change Than Elon Musk': Bill Gates and Elon Musk Reignite Feud

The dueling billionaires have duked it out several times before. In May 2022, Gates told a French journalist that he donates "a lot more money to climate change than Elon Musk or anyone else." The clip quickly went viral on social media and garnered a "Sigh" reply from Musk on Twitter.

In April 2022, an unnamed source leaked text messages between the duo to the New York Times, which were then circulated on Twitter, in which Gates had asked Musk to combine efforts and funds with him in a philanthropic effort to help the fight against climate change.

Musk refused Gates' offer after accusing him of shorting Tesla stocks, telling the fellow billionaire that he could not take the offer seriously due to Gates' "massive short position against Tesla," which Musk claims is the "coy doing the most to solve climate change."

As of Monday afternoon, Gates's net worth was an estimated $117 billion.

Related: The 5-Hour Rule Used by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

This 61-Year-Old Grandma Who Made $35,000 in the Medical Field Now Earns 7 Figures in Retirement
A 'Quiet Promotion' Will Cost You a Lot — Use This Expert's 4-Step Strategy to Avoid It
3 Red Flags on Your LinkedIn Profile That Scare Clients Away
'Everyone Is Freaking Out.' What's Going On With Silicon Valley Bank? Federal Government Takes Control.

How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.

Business News

A Retired Teacher and Her Daughter Were Scammed Out of $200,000 Over Email: 'I'm 69 Years Old and Now I'm Broke and Homeless'

The mother-daughter duo was in the process of buying a townhouse when their email chain with the title company was hacked.


Empowering Your People Is the Best Decision You Can Make. Here's Why.

Giving control to someone else can be hard — and at times, even scary. Here are four tips to ensure that empowering your employees and giving them autonomy will be the best choice for your business.

Business News

'A Day We Hoped Would Not Come': Competing Swiss Bank UBS Buys Credit Suisse

Plus, New York Community Bank bought a large portion of another failed institution, Signature Bank. Here's the latest on the banking drama.

Business News

A Discount Retailer Is Ripping This Item From Shelves Because It's Become Too Egg-Spensive

Though the price of eggs has started declining in recent weeks, the breakfast staple is still too expensive for Dollar Tree.