The visionary quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, concern about the future of humanity, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier
For years, space enthusiasts have imagined people in spaceships colonizing the cosmos, and for more than four decades, US presidents have been predicting a real-life journey to Mars. Little progress, however, has been made since the halcyon days of the Mercury and Apollo programs--until now. Chris Davenport tells the story of the "Space Barons"--notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but also Richard Branson and Paul Allen--and their unbelievably big ambitions to revive the US manned space program and reignite ancient dreams.
These tycoons, with deep imaginations and deeper wallets, have ambitions to go far into space, well beyond the lower Earth orbit of the International Space Station. They are the founders of some of the biggest brands in the world--Amazon, Tesla, PayPal, Microsoft, Virgin--and have poured hundreds of millions of their own money into their new companies, betting that space tourism, asteroid mining, CubeSats (satellites the size of shoe boxes), and other new ventures will prove to be the next great technological revolution. For them, this is about more than monetizing space and space travel; it's exploration for exploration's sake: striking out with one destination in mind, but finding something else entirely. "Do we want," Elon Musk asks, "a future where we are forever confined to one planet until some eventual extinction event--however far in the future that might occur? Or do we want to become a multi-planet species, ultimately out there among the stars?"
With an inside track on the businesses, rivalries, and rocketry that are fueling the new space race, THE SPACE BARONS is the story of how these billionaires plan to open the space frontier, extending humanity's reach and fulfilling the dreams of a generation.