Are we in the midst of a new space race?

From Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin – there is a growing interest in space exploration by some of the world’s least publicity-shy billionaires. But does the 2020 launch of the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft really mark the beginning of a new privately financed space race? And what do recent international launches, such as the UAE’s Hope probe to Mars, say about changing geopolitical ambitions for space exploration? Ian Sample speaks to space policy veteran Prof John Logsdon about the past, present and future of global space policy. This description was amended on 24 July 2020 to correct an error in the name of project associated with Jeff Bezos, which we called Blue Horizon. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod