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Published: Jul 08, 2021 4 min read
A photo collage of Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson next to a spaceship with starry sky and smoke made out of twenty dollar bills
Money; Shutterstock; Getty Images

It's Bezos vs. Branson in a billionaire space race set to go down — or, rather, up — this month.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin founder Richard Branson are separately planning to travel to space in the coming days, potentially ushering in an era of space tourism just 52 years after the moon landing. Both trips are being facilitated by companies the two billionaires own, and the timeline is tight: Branson's liftoff is scheduled for Sunday, July 11, while Bezos' is July 20.

Despite the rivalry, the two trips have a lot in common. They're historic, they're risky, and they're extremely expensive.

It's unclear how much the flights will cost the founders themselves, but we do know that someone paid $30 million to secure a seat on Bezos' spacecraft. A still-unidentified bidder beat out roughly 7,600 people from 159 countries in a recent charity auction to take part in the Blue Origin trip, which will last about 11 minutes. (That's $45,454 per second.)