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Space is no longer just a government program. Thanks to an emerging breed of innovative aerospace companies, it is rapidly becoming just another place to do business.

The retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011 marks the end of the era of government-owned manned space flight, and the liftoff of the commercial space age. From the first privately funded manned spaceflights to the building of the first commercial spaceports and space stations, Rocketeers is the first book on a new industry that is poised to change the world.

Michael Belfiore takes readers into the rocket shops of PayPal founder Elon Musk (whose Space Exploration Technologies has already built the fastest, highest-flying private rockets), Las Vegas real estate developer Robert Bigelow (now busily launching inflatable space habitats through his Bigelow Aerospace), and hot-shot game programmer John Carmack (building “vertical dragsters” for NASA with his Armadillo Aerospace)—to name a few—for an instructive and eye-popping look at the emerging business of space travel.

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