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Investors are placing big bets on a growing space economy - but can they reach orbit?

The success of Elon Musk's SpaceX is driving a blossoming of rocket companies and investment. Foto: Photo for The Washington Post by Jonathan Newton

Space is hot.

The billionaire "space barons" - Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson - have given the industry a cachet not seen since the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s, with Branson and Bezos flying to the edge of space on their own spacecraft and Musk's SpaceX becoming the dominant supplier of people and cargo to the International Space Station...

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