Will Great Companies and Great Innovators matter more than Great Nations

There have been several highly influential companies in the history of the industrialized world.

Ford Motors and GM were very important for adoption of the automobile.
Rail and oil companies were important to early industrialization.
Boeing was very important for aviation.
General Electric was important in developing modern industrialization
The British East India Company
AT and T was important in early telecommunications development
IBM was critical for the adoption of computers in business.
Intel and Microsoft were critical for distribution and improvement of the transistor and personal computers.
Walmart had great influence in altering the retail model and helping make China the factory to the world.

The economic rise of China, East Asia and India has been very important in shaping the past few decades and will continue to influence the coming decades.

However, if the plans of Google and related companies and projects like Calico and the GoogleX and Solve for X projects, come to fruition then the influence of Great Companies will be far more important for shaping the future. Calico could be one of the companies that enables radical life extension.

Google is also working on robotic cars, quantum computers, asteroid mining, cheap space telescopes and machine learning. Google is working disease cures via Solve for X and has super high speed internet to everyone on earth via internet balloons, satellites and other projects.

Elon Musk and his plans for Spacex, Tesla Motors and SolarCity and whatever other companies that follow could also have more impact than what is done by China. Spacex could deliver reusable rockets, the Falcon Heavy and the Mars Colonization Rocket. Elon Musk is also working on cheap satellites.

Elon Musk describing upgrades to the ship that could allow Dragons to fly up to 10 times without significant refurbishment.

Spacex is developing the methane Raptor engine.

This would enable monster rockets and would likely be the BFR (Big F**ing Rocket) or Mars Colony Transport. Elon Musk has discussed getting the cost of space launch without reuse down to $500 per pound with a large rocket.

Exoscientist Robert Clark has calculated a 15 Raptor engine Spacex rocket could enable abut 500 tons of payload in a single launch.

A June 2014 talk by Tom Mueller, the head of rocket engine development at SpaceX, provided more specific engine performance target specifications indicating 6,900 kN (705 tonnes-force) of sea-level thrust, 8,200 kN (840 tonnes-force) of vacuum thrust, and a specific impulse of 380 seconds.

The Spacex Falcon heavy has three cores and has nine engines on each core as seen in this picture from the Spacex.com site. Having five engines per core

Pictures of the Falcon Heavy engines from Spacex.

In April 2014, SpaceX completed the requisite upgrades and maintenance to the Stennis test stand to prepare for testing of Raptor components, and expected to begin tests at the facility prior to the end of May 2014.

The Raptor engine will be powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen using a more efficient staged combustion cycle, a departure from the ‘open cycle’ gas generator system and lox/kerosene propellants that current Merlin engines use. The Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) also used a staged combustion process, as do several Russian rocket engines.