The problem with Jeff Bezos and other billionaires will go to space

The problem with    Jeff Bezos and other billionaires will go to space

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and Amazon, inspects a booster on the landing pad after to after test flight. The billionaire successfully rode one of its New Shepard rockets a space Tuesday.

Blue Origin

On Tuesday, the founder of Blue Origin and Amazon, Jeff Bezos, became the second billionaire to visit the edge of space and do somersaults in microgravity, one week and one half after Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic space plane have taken off in alto from New Mexico. Trips have made for a historic month in space flight, inspiring a fair amount of wonder and amazement.

But maybe a too more common the reaction is a hard eye roll accompanied by some comment on obscene wealth or ego, or worse.

After years of watching SpaceX’s Bezos, Branson and Elon Musk expand their empires upward beyond a firm grip of gravity, I think a tale cynicism may be right, but leave the rest of us off the hook. The show of the billionaire space race also lights up a sad truth on ours future in space as a species: we have lost control of our destiny in the cosmos.


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Advantage: billionaires

More than five years ago, a Las Vegas oddsmaker gave Musk and SpaceX 5 to 1 odds of be the first entity to put humans on Mars. Probabilities of NASA is first it was 80 to 1. At the time I thought it was a bit silly considering NASA had already to put people on the moon and SpaceX had just started sending goods in orbit.

Half a decade later, those odds seem more reasonable: SpaceX is already prototype launch and landing of his rocket to Mars while we wait for the much retarded debut of NASA’s space launch system meant for missions to the moon and beyond.

On the top of that, the person media is much more probably know what are Elon Musk and SpaceX and Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin up for in space than they are aware of of NASA often-postponed plans for the moon, Mars or the James Webb Space Telescope.

Blame for this disparity in attention falls more at right angles on shoulders of media people like myself than I do on NASA. it does not do it help that the agency is at the mercy of a politician system providing not only its financing but also his leadership, either of which can change dramatically every few years.

So it is not surprising that entrepreneurs like Musk and Bezos were in able to identify the gap left from an outdated and inefficient institution like NASA, take this opportunity to build a better rocket and paint a bolder vision for the future.

And here lies the real problem. of moss grand ambition of populating Mars, e Bezos’s plan for move industry and maybe some sweets new luxury condos in orbit, are unprecedented efforts at the level of civilization that were primarily conceived in based on whims of just Two men.

Think about it. The odds now seem fair that when the first member of our species sets foot on another planet, it will be because Musk, aka the “Dogepadre“- the world’s biggest fan of 420 and 69 jokes – decided to do it.

This is to take nothing away from Musk (well, maybe just a little).

Neither SpaceX nor Blue Origin responded immediately to a request for comment.

A return to public space

To me, who complain about the waste of billionaires money on space when we have so many problems on The Earth misses the point. What should be worrying, I think, is how the agenda and the public speech on space now I’m in largely led by some of the world’s very wealthy individuals.

Perhaps the efforts of these men and their companies will lead to profound benefits for humanity, but we could also decide as a company that ventures in space to pursue for their good, for our love.

Space could be the key to solve some of them of our greatest problems, if it is through spacea solar base power, asteroid mining or yes, transforming Mars in a reserve planet. These are all quite far-out ideas, be sure, but there is very little in the way of resources dedicated to researching their potential, which is how what’s this start seem less distant out.

And from way, the history of space innovation suggests that it may not be so crazy to expect learning how to survive on the moon or Mars could also to teach us new ways to reduce our impact on of the Earth environment.

NASA has opened the border of space for Musk, Bezos and others to take over production of rockets that appear to be more capable, efficient and economical compared to the pioneering publicly funded spacecraft of previous eras. That is great. Now is the time for us the people to decide which borders we must want to explore nextrather than wait for another rich dude to take lead.


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