While it appears that the rich kids with deep pockets are funding their respective space ventures, the reality is that it is the US taxpayers that are funding these space efforts.
Post-1990, it was the Soviet-designed and Russian produced rocket engines – RD170 and RD180 – that powers the US Atlas rockets, the mainstay of the US heavy launch vehicles.
The space competition is not simply who sent the first man to the moon, but also who built the better rockets.
At the same time that Russian rocket engines were becoming the mainstay of the US space programme, the US imposed sanctions on ISRO and Russia’s Glavkosmos. Glavkosmos was Russia’s space marketing arm for selling cryogenic rocket engines and technology.
Behind this hype of a new space age, is the reality of a new space grab. This is what Bezos and Musk represent: a new space age in which the billionaires can leave this world they are destroying in the hope of new lands to conquer and again destroy.