In the latest twist in three billionaires’ battle to exploit space travel, Richard Branson surprised both Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk by beating them to the launch pad, Nicholas Schmidle writes in The New Yorker’s Daily Comment section.

Branson broke the news only hours after Amazon founder Bezos had announced he would put himself into space. Branson beat him to it by nine days.

“Branson has subsequently tried to downplay the rivalry,” Nick writes, “asserting that what appears to be a ploy to leapfrog Bezos is just ‘an incredible, wonderful coincidence,’ adding, in a separate interview, ‘I’ve never seen this as a race.’”


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Photo credit: Jeff Foust, Wikimedia Commons