Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, justified the so-called "space race" between some of the world's wealthiest men on Monday, claiming that space "represents hope for so many people".

The remarks come just one day after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson became the first person to launch his own spaceship into orbit. He narrowly defeated Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest person, by nine days.

"Those who attack space maybe don't realize that space represents hope for so many people," Musk tweeted.

Branson was scheduled to embark on the second of three Virgin Galactic test flights later this year before flying ticket holders next year. On Sunday, though, he jumped ahead of his competitors, reaching a height of 53.5 miles above the New Mexico desert with five crew members.

Bezos will follow Branson's lead and fly into space with his brother, Mark, a $28 million auction winner, and Wally Funk, one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13, who has been picked as his "honored guest".

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Unveils Company's New Manned Spacecraft, The Dragon V2
(Photo : Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
HAWTHORNE-CA-MAY 29: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils the company's new manned spacecraft, The Dragon V2, designed to carry astronauts into space during a news conference on May 29, 2014, in Hawthorne, California. The private spaceflight company has been flying unmanned capsules to the Space Station delivering cargo for the past two years. The Dragon V2 manned spacecraft will ferry up to seven astronauts to low-Earth orbit.

Musk's Plan Of Bringing People to Mars A Little Different

Although the three billionaires have identical objectives, Musk's strategy is a little different.

SpaceX, which currently launches personnel to the International Space Station for NASA and builds moon and Mars ships, aims to carry passengers into orbit above the Earth for days, with tickets costing millions of dollars. The first private flight for the company is scheduled for September.

Even though the three men are rivals, they have openly backed each other in recent weeks.

Branson, who has stressed that this isn't a space race, tweeted a photo of Musk visiting him before his big launch on Sunday morning.

Bezos also expressed his gratitude to Branson on social media.

"@richardbranson and crew, congratulations on the flight. Can't wait to join the club!" Bezos wrote on Instagram alongside an image of Virgin's rocket.

ALSO READ: Bezos, Musk, Branson Beating Each Other in Space Tourism; Whose Rocket is Bigger Though?   

Netizens Ridicule Musk's Plans

By ridiculing or mimicking Musk's structure for his beliefs on how space signifies hope, some others made fun of the SpaceX CEO.

However, as many critics of the billionaire space race claim, this is not the case. Daily Dot said there is a notion that people should spend money on aiding a country's residents rather than sending people into space has been around for decades. For example, not everyone supported the Apollo 11 moon trip.

However, the criticism leveled at Musk and the other billionaires bidding for a space mission is far worse. People claim that these billionaires could be doing so much with their money that they could not even begin to spend it.

Still, instead of helping people, a netizen pointed out in a Tweet the billionaires are stroking their egos by starting a billionaire space race and then getting angry when they were called out on it.

Another one commented on Twitter that other people would simply like billionaires to pay their taxes and fix Earth's problems.

RELATED ARTICLE: Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson Cannot Live in Space; Will Money Save Them from Climate Change?

Check out more news and information on Elon Musk in Science Times.