Battle of the billionaires
The billionaire space race has begun. On Sunday, 70-year-old Richard Branson (worth $3.79bn) soared 53.4 miles above the Earth on one of his Virgin Galactic rocket planes. The firm already has $85m in deposits for places on future flights, with tickets starting at $200,000. Not to be outdone, says Samuel Fishwick in the Evening Standard, Jeff Bezos ($207.9bn) will go up seven miles higher next Tuesday – his Blue Origin space company jibed on Twitter that Branson didn’t quite make it to space proper. Bezos wants to set up “space colonies” dotted around the solar system, and has a habit of whipping out mock-ups of medieval Florence and Beijing’s Forbidden City rebuilt in the stars.