SPACE COWBOYS
Maxim|September - October 2020
How JeffBezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson plan to upgrade your bucket list
SISI PENALOZA

While the aviation industry cools its jets due to CO-VID-19 travel restrictions, the aerospace sector is heating up, meeting multiple milestones this year and aiming to put some wealthy travelers into orbit. Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic are all gaining major momentum towards the long-awaited goal of commercial space travel.

NASA meanwhile has strategically partnered with private companies to bolster America’s efforts at increasing our footprint in the final frontier. The agency’s Commercial Crew Program awarded SpaceX a multi-billion dollar contract in 2014 to get its space shuttles ready to transport NASA crew to the International Space Station.

In the half-century since the Apollo 11 Moon landing, humans have made significant progress in space exploration. As the transhumanist age promises evolution beyond earth-bound decay—the era of neural augmentation and artificial intelligence space exploration—may once again dramatically unify and lead us culturally forward in defining what our species can become. With peak terrestrial drama unfolding at home, the next giant leap forward for human spaceflight can’t come soon enough.

The 21st-century private sector space race is being led by a trifecta of bullish billionaires. Intense rivalry between space entrepreneurs Elon Musk of SpaceX, JeffBezos of Blue Origin, and Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic is fueling a rather glorious acceleration in aeronautical engineering as teams race to ignition.

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