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The historic quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonization of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier

The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program. Nearly a half-century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons-most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen-are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel, and send humans even further than NASA has gone. These entrepreneurs have founded some of the biggest brands in the world-Amazon, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, PayPal-and upended industry after industry. Now they are pursuing the biggest disruption of all: space.

Based on years of reporting and exclusive interviews with all four billionaires, this authoritative account is a dramatic tale of risk and high adventure, the birth of a new Space Age, fueled by some of the world's richest men as they struggle to end governments' monopoly on the cosmos. The Space Barons is also a story of rivalry-hard-charging startups warring with established contractors, and the personal clashes of the leaders of this new space movement, particularly Musk and Bezos, as they aim for the moon and Mars and beyond.

About the Author

Christian Davenport

Christian Davenport (www.christian-davenport.com) is the author of "As You Were: To War and Back with the Black Hawk Battalion of the Virginia National Guard" and is a staff writer at The Washington Post, where he was on a team of reporters that was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in National reporting for coverage of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

In 2007, he was awarded an Alicia Patterson Fellowship in journalism and spent a month embedded with the Virginia Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment in Iraq. He then spent a year chronicling the lives of five of the unit's soldiers returning to civilian life after the war. The stories of these five soldiers are featured in "As You Were," which was released in May, 2009.

During his nine-year career at the Post, he's covered everything from hurricanes to political campaigns to the Washington area sniper shootings. He's embedded twice with American troops abroad and has written extensively about the lives of soldiers and marines fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Recent reporting has covered topics such as the new GI Bill, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the arrival of the war dead to Dover Air Force Base, the passing of the World War II generation, veteran unemployment and homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, military recruiting and the role citizen-soldiers are playing in today's all-volunteer military.

Before coming to The Post, he worked for Newsday, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Austin American-Statesman. A graduate of Colby College, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife. Find him at facebook.com/christiandavenport or twitter.com/davenportchris.

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