Welcome to the latest action-packed episode of Billionaires in Space. In case you missed the most recent action: Sir Richard Branson has reached the edge of space in his Virgin Galactic rocket plane. That puts him ahead of his rich and dirty pioneer colleagues Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Bezos hit the skies on Tuesday in his Blue Origin New Shepard rocket and space capsule. Musk, it seems, is playing a longer game. No simple space tourism for him. He wants to colonize Mars.
Some argue that such explorations represent the true spirit of adventure and enterprise. After all, Branson and Bezos haven’t just flown in their own ships; they also paid them. Others, however, are already singing a different tune, which dates from days after the original moon landing. If you don’t already know, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with “Whitey on the Moon” by Gil Scott-Heron.