Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Billionaires, not governments, are the contestants in the new space race. Their competition is drawing criticism and eye rolling — and sparking debate about whether it actually benefits the rest of us.

The big picture: International and corporate competition have been a part of the space industry since the launch of Sputnik nearly 65 years ago.

  • Over those years, there have always been critics who have argued that resources would be better spent on Earth.
  • But competition can spur not just exploration, but the creation of transformative new industries and technologies that could be worth trillions.

By the numbers: Morgan Stanley estimates the global space industry could generate revenue of more than $1 trillion by 2040, up from roughly $350 billion now.

  • If that happens, it'll be in part because competition between commercial space companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin has helped bring down the cost of reaching low-Earth orbit by a factor of 20, according to NASA.
  • Reductions in launch costs have helped make it possible to cheaply put thousands of satellites into orbit, with the number projected to rise from 3,400 now to as many as 100,000 over the next decade.
  • And while ardent proponents of space dream of asteroid mining and lunar manufacturing facilities, the most immediate offshoots of the new space age will come in far cheaper satellite broadband internet access, which Morgan Stanley notes will directly benefit environmental science and climate action here on Earth.

Context: While the new space race is primarily commercial, political competition may not be far behind, with China in particular "working to match or exceed U.S. capabilities in space," according to the annual threat assessment published in April by the Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

Background: Criticism has followed the space program since the days when rockets were primarily the province of governments, not Silicon Valley billionaires.

  • In the recent documentary "Summer of Soul," about a series of concerts in Harlem during the summer of 1969, one audience member decries the waste of taxpayer money on the Apollo program that could have been used to target poverty and racism.
  • Add in the need to address climate change, and you'd capture the tenor of criticism today.

Our thought bubble: If the first space race was primarily about symbolism and geopolitical prestige, the new space race will be about real fortunes and realpolitik. But symbols should still matter.

  • Humanity loses something in the absence of a frontier, and the opportunity for heroes — and astronauts are still heroes — to push back against one.
  • Just as it matters who drives progress forward on tech here on Earth, it will matter which companies and which countries take the lead in the new space race.

Go deeper

Bentonville library's $14.9 million expansion includes art gallery and outdoor space

Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Designs are in the works for Bentonville Public Library’s expansion.

Why it matters: Bentonville residents want more out of the library. About 77% of Bentonville voters approved $4.97 million for the library in the April bond election.

Details: Site plans show a 28,555-square-foot addition to the existing 38,500-square-foot building — as well as some outdoor program space.

  • Feedback from the library staff and the public indicated large meeting room space is needed, Kristilyn Vercruysse of MSR Design said last week at a library meeting.
  • A community hub will have resources for local events and social services.
  • The design team is also looking to incorporate into the plans more study rooms, an activity room for all ages, more space for genealogy and makerspace.
  • The idea is to have spaces be as multifunctional as possible, Vercruysse said.

1 cool thing: Expect the library to embrace the arts and cycling communities. It will have a gallery space highlighting local artists, plenty of bicycle racks and outdoor space with drinking fountains for cyclists.

What's next: Construction could start as soon as early 2023 and will likely take 16 months.

Go deeper: Read the full library needs assessment here.

Flashback: The Fayetteville Public Library completed a major expansion earlier this year. Read about it here.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!