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.
Christian Davenport is a staff writer at theWashington Post covering the space and defense industries for the financial desk. He joined the Post in 2000, and has written about the DC-area sniper shootings, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and the burial problems at Arlington National Cemetery. He is a recipient of the Peabody award for his work on veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and has been on reporting teams that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize three times.
Before joining the financial staff, Davenport was an editor on the Metro desk, overseeing coverage of local government and politics. He has also worked at Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Austin American-Statesman. As a frequent radio and television commentator, he has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, PBS NewsHour, and several NPR shows, including All Things Considered and Diane Rehm.