Book Review – The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos by Christian Davenport

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why is everybody so hyped about SpaceX? Will Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic ever send a tourist to space? What is Jeff Bezos doing in space? Where is NASA these days?

These were some of the questions that prompted me to pick up this book. The book lacks technical depth or nail biting storytelling but it does a good job in keeping novices like me engaged and immersed.

The focus is definitely on Musk and his baby SpaceX and to a lesser extent on Bezos and his clandestine Blue Origin. Both Musk and Bezos are Internet prodigies who have no formal training or professional experience in rocket science. Making humans a multiplanetary species is a grandiose vision and probably no other challenge comes close to its level of difficulty or complexity. This could probably be the reason why these highly successful men are willing to risk their reputations and endure the pain of a long, tedious, expensive space journey with little or no guarantee of success in their lifetime.

In fact, what I found more interesting is to learn about men who attempted to conquer the final frontier before Musk and Bezos. Stories of people like Andrew Beal who started Beal Aeropspace and Burt Rutan, the winner of Ansari X Prize, are inspiring and they laid the foundation for Musk and Bezos. They also exposed politics in the industry and the battles that lay ahead of anyone attempting to challenge the status quo enjoyed by NASA, Boeing and Lockheed.

In summary, this is a great introduction to anyone trying to understand what is happening in space right now and how it is possibly going to change mankind in the future by making human beings as a multiplanetary species.

View all my reviews

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