This time it’s not a cold-war battle between nations, but a blurb competition between private companies.
And the stakes are about to be lifted serve with the launch of the Falcon Heavy, the biggest rocket given the huge Saturn V that took astronauts to the moon.
For the space attention it’s a game-changer.
The lass moody has all the panache you’d design from SpaceX and its founder, Tesla boss Elon Musk.
On house is an red electric roadster, finish with a mannequin called Starman in the driver’s seat, which will be sent on a arena that puts it in circuit around the sun.
Musk has a clarity of humour as good as money.
The launch leaves Blue Origin trailing in the new space race.
The spaceflight company started by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is building its own heavy-lift rocket and hopes to fly profitable passengers from next year.
But for now, it’s being good beaten.
The third contender in the race is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Forced to redesign its booster after a deadly accident, it’s still a prolonged way off blurb flights.
SpaceX has been in the lead for some time.
The first blurb moody to the ISS, and the first to re-use the first theatre of a rocket that had already delivered a load to orbit.
A successful test moody for the Falcon Heavy will see SpaceX marker up another first: all 3 cores, with their vast engines, will try to touchdown on apart alighting pads for use in a future launch.
It’s the reusability of the Falcon Heavy that creates it so appealing for blurb flights, gripping the cost of a launch down to a small $90 million (£64 million).
The next many absolute rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, can put about half as much in circuit for 4 times the price.
With the income companies save on rising their load on a Falcon Heavy they could buy another satellite.
No warn then that the SpaceX rocket has been booked to launch several vast communications satellites and a test load for US Air Force. More orders will presumably follow.
But Elon Musk wants to go further. By the finish of the year he wants to send two profitable passengers around the moon.
Competition is heading to innovation. That’s what’s indispensable to take humans to Mars.
The space race is picking up speed. And it’s getting exciting.