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If you are a fan of space exploration, this is a pretty exciting time to be alive!  Honestly, after the space shuttles were retired back in 2011 I was worried about where the space program in the United States (and the world, for that matter) was going.  Since then, the rocket engines of my imagination have been re-ignited with a new space race amongst the world's billionaires.

In case you missed it, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson became the first person to go to space in a ship he funded himself.  Branson beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) by just over a week, as Bezos is set to lift off in a Blue Origin rocket (his company) on July 20th.

A third member of the "Billionaire Space Yacht Club," has yet take a ride beyond the wild blue yonder aboard one of his vessels - but Elon Musk isn't out of the space-race by a long shot.  According to the report from TPR.org, the tiny town of McGregor, Texas is getting a 2nd gigantic rocket motor factory!  Forget going to space - Elon wants to stay there!

Musk's stated goal with the new factory is to help build a fleet of ships that would make a human colony on Mars a reality by the year 2050.  New factory is set to churn out 2 to 4 humongous Raptor 2, heavy-lift rocket engines every day!  These bad-boys will power SpaceX's monstrous Starship prototype that is currently being tested in another small Texas town called Boca Chica.

If you missed it, here are the same engines I was talking about above in action during the latest test of the Starship concept:

Thanks to the ultra-rich trying to out-do one another with their incredibly sophisticated and powerful toys, we may finally be getting closer to exploring the stars.

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