US billionaires vie to make space the next business frontier

Technological advances mean taking humans to play among the stars is just one of the aims of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and a host of eager investors

Later this year Jeff Bezos, the first person to have led a business from nothing to a trillion-dollar valuation, will step down from his job as head of Amazon. But as you’d expect from a tech multibillionaire, his eyes are on a potentially bigger prize: outer space. Bezos will be dedicating more time to a space race between entrepreneur rivals that hopes to push the frontiers of society – and commerce – beyond planet Earth.

Having completed its 14th mission last month – successfully carrying a dummy, “Mannequin Skywalker”, into space – Bezos’s space company, Blue Origin, believes relatively cheap travel for humans is not far off. That would finally deliver a return on the $1bn (£730bn) of Amazon stock Bezos has to sell annually to fund it. Blue Origin was one of four projects flagged by the Amazon boss as likely recipients of his attention now, alongside the Washington Post newspaper, his Day One charitable fund and the environmental Earth Fund.

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