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Musk, Bezos, Branson lead billionaires in space race

Renwick Wilson

On Saturday, the world celebrates 50 years since the Apollo 11 lunar module made its historic landing on the moon.

These Apollo astronauts, decades ago, paved the way for a crop of billionaires looking to win the space race.

FOX Business takes a look at the big names firing up the sector.

#1 Richard Branson

Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group, the parent company of the spaceflight company Virgin Galactic. The space company announced this month it will be merging with Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH) to create the world’s first publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company.

Virgin Galactic and the public investment firm agreed to a stock and cash deal — with SCH owning a 49 percent stake of the merged company. SCH’s founder will also invest $100 million at $10 per share, Branson's company said in a news release. The company plans to offer commercial space flights, charging customers nearly $250,000 for a 2.5 hour flight.

2. Elon Musk:

Musk, the controversial Tesla CEO, is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX, a private space-exploration company. To date, SpaceX has launched more than 56 missions, according to Business Insider.

3. Jeff Bezos:

In addition to being Amazon's CEO and the richest man in the world, Bezos founded the spaceflight company Blue Origin in 2000. In October, Blue Origin entered into a Launch Services Agreement partnership with the U.S. Air Force.

4. Robert Bigelow:

Bigelow is the owner of both the hotel chain Budget Suites of America and the aerospace company Bigelow Aerospace. The space company designs and manufactures modules for space stations.

5. Larry Page:

The Google co-founder is one of the main financial backers of Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining company that intends to begin mining operations in 2020.

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