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'Space Wars': A visual guide to the battle for space supremacy

Discover everything you need to know about the private sector's race to space in just a few minutes with one colorful and informative infographic.

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Check out the private-sector forces seeking space domination in the image below. Visual Capitalist

It used to be that shooting rocket ships up to space was an activity reserved for governments. But since SpaceShipOne completed the first manned private suborbital spaceflight in 2004 -- and snagged the $10-million Ansari XPrize in the process -- private investors and industries have ramped up a whole new kind of space race.

This new infographic from Visual Capitalist lays out the crowded field of private space exploration in a colorful and easy-to-digest format that will rocket you up to speed on the major players in the battle for space supremacy.

Don't be dismayed by the first half of the graphic, which ignores myriad missions by going only from Sputnik to Apollo 11 to the Space Shuttle to the ISS.

The real meat of the chart can be found a little lower, where you'll find a pretty comprehensive look at the people and businesses now vying to grab a piece of the cosmic pie.

(Via Visual Capitalist)