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Pro Analysis

Breakingviews: Bezos’ deep pockets give him the edge over Musk in space race

Jeff Bezos looks out of his Blue Origin capsule on April 5, 2017.
Justin Solomon | CNBC
Jeff Bezos looks out of his Blue Origin capsule on April 5, 2017.

Jeff Bezos' rocketing wealth fuels his space ambitions. The Amazon founder is selling $1 billion of stock a year to finance his dream of colonizing space. Both he and his company can afford it. The firm's dominance in cloud computing has added $25 billion to his worth in the past year. With a trajectory like that, the sky is not the limit.

Bezos' space company Blue Origin has similar ambitions and technology to Elon Musk's SpaceX. Both think reusing rockets, rather than letting them burn up on re-entry, will lower the price of space flight dramatically. Fuel costs, after all, represent only around 1 percent of the price of a launch. Both firms also hope tourism will bring in needed revenue. SpaceX wants to fly people around the moon next year, while Blue Origin plans to start by taking passengers on 11-minute weightless flights more than 60 miles up. The two billionaires both see such flights as the first step toward a future in which millions of people live and work off the Earth.