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Rocket billionaires : Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the new space race
2018
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Author Notes
TIM FERNHOLZ is a reporter at Quartz and the host of the Quartz/Marketplace economics podcast, Actuality . He has been reporting on SpaceX since 2011 and was a Knight Journalism Fellow and a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC.
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Fernholz is a reporter, not usually on science issues, though he has been reporting on SpaceX for some time. That knowledge, plus some in-depth interviews he has had with Elon Musk (Tesla) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and their colleagues, informs this work on the current space race, which is becoming dominated by Internet billionaires. The book is typical of popular treatments of science and technology in at least two ways: the author skips around in time in his narrative and a fair amount of government, in this case mostly NASA, criticism is woven throughout. Fernholz does seem to have some hero worship for his main subjects. On the other hand, their accomplishments and dreams, particularly Musk's, are spectacular. The author gets a few facts wrong; for example, Mosaic was the first web browser, not Netscape. However, his coverage of the personalities involved in the space race is engaging. Verdict This book, though not strictly scientific, is a compelling narrative that should be of special interest to many with the very recent launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket. Accessible to both young adult and adult readers.-Sara R. Tompson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Lib., Archives & Records Section, Pasadena, CA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
The inside story of the new race to conquer space, as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos spend billions of their own money to explore the final frontier

For the largerâe'thanâe'life personalities now staking their fortunes on the development of rocket ships, the new race to explore space could be a dead end, a lucrative opportunity -- or the key to humanity's salvation.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos take center stage in this fastâe'paced narrative as they attempt to disrupt the space economy, feed their own egos, and maybe even save the world. We also meet a supporting cast of equally fascinating entrepreneurs, from the irrepressible British mogul Richard Branson to satellite Internet visionary Greg Wyler. All are united in the profound conviction that commercial space transportation will transform our world for the better.

Tim Fernholz's flyâe'onâe'theâe'wall reporting captures an industry in the midst of disruption, as NASA seeks to preserve its ambitious space exploration program, traditional aerospace firms like Boeing and Lockheed Martin scramble to adapt to new competitors, lobbyists tussle over public funds and lawmakers try to prevent this new space race from sparking global conflict.

With privileged access to top executives at SpaceX, including Musk himself, as well as at Blue Origin, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Virgin Galactic, Fernholz spins this highâe'stakes marathon into a riveting tale of rivalry and survival.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. ix
1Adventure Capitalismp. 1
2The Rocket-Industrial Complexp. 18
3The Rocket Monopolyp. 30
4The Internet Guyp. 40
5Friday Afternoon Space Clubp. 58
6The Tyranny of the Rocketp. 72
7Never a Straight Answerp. 93
8A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudesp. 107
9Test as We Flyp. 122
10Change Versus More of the Samep. 139
11Capture the Flagp. 159
12Space Race 2.0p. 171
13Reduce, Reuse, Recyclep. 195
14Pushing the Envelopep. 205
15Rocket Billionairesp. 221
16Beyond Earth Orbitp. 236
Epilogue: A Spacefaring Civilizationp. 252
Acknowledgmentsp. 255
Notesp. 258
Indexp. 271
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