Jeff Bezos on Critics of Billionaire Space Tourism: ‘They’re Mostly Right’
Following his recent rocket trip to the edge of space, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos admitted that critics of the stunt are “largely right.”
CNBC reports that Jeff Bezos has responded to critics of his recent space flight. This week, Bezos took an eleven-minute trip to space aboard the New Shepard rocket developed by his space exploration company Blue Origin. Bezos was joined on the flight by his brother Mark Bezos, a private equity executive, pioneering female aviator Wally Funk and recent Dutch high school graduate Oliver Daemen. Daemen’s seat on the ride was purchased by his wealthy father.
The New Shepard rocket took off from Blue Origin’s Texas launch pad and 7 minutes later the rocket’s capsule was officially in space. The rocket booster returned to Earth, firing its engine to slow down its descent, and slowly landed on four legs. The booster will be reused for future launches.
A short while later, attached to a set of parachutes the Blue Origin spacecraft returned to land. The spacecraft briefly fired its thruster to cushion its touchdown for the passenger’s return. Blue Origin crew members quickly rushed to the capsule to open the spacecraft’s hatch from the outside.
In an interview with CNN ahead of the space flight, Bezos was asked for his thoughts on critics who call the recent trend of billionaires taking to the skies “joyrides for the wealthy, and [who say] you should be spending your time and your money and energy trying to solve problems here on Earth.”
Bezos responded: “Well, I say they are largely right. We have to do both. We have lots of problems here on Earth and we have to work on those.”
Breitbart News reporter Allum Bokhari recently outlined the hypocrisy of climate-change conscious billionaires spending time and money to take brief trips to the edge of space:
The billionaire space race is accelerating, with Bezos’ trip to space coming in the same month as Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson’s. Both Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are competing with SpaceX — another rocket company run by another billionaire, Elon Musk.
Billionaires staying in space might do the world a favor, especially when they own fake news rags like the Washington Post, but getting there doesn’t — at least if you take carbon emissions as seriously as the billionaires say they do.
While Blue Origin reportedly used relatively clean fuel, the wider billionaire space race is likely to accelerate carbon emissions. The Guardian quotes Elois Marais, a University College London professor who notes that sending a rocket to space generally emits vastly more carbon emissions than a plane.