World’s wealthiest man and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ next venture is to land in space. With his company Blue Origins, Bezos revealed his plans to establish huge space colonies on the moon, in a theatrical press event yesterday.
“It’s time to go back to the moon, this time to stay,” Bezos said.
Blue Origin is building the infrastructure needed to unleash the next generation of dreamers. I met these young people today, and the future is in great hands. #BlueMoon @clubforfuture pic.twitter.com/F2zPM5PngM
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 9, 2019
Bezos added that he wants people to have access to space travel because the Earth is “finite,” so expanding to space will become a necessity one day to ensure humanity doesn’t fall into statis and rationing. His reasoning: “If we move out into the solar system for all practical purposes, we have unlimited resources.”
On stage, at the invite-only presentation to media and space industry executives at Washington DC, Bezos showed off Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander. Per Bloomberg, “the craft features a large internal spherical fuel tank and sits atop four landing pads. It’s powered by liquid hydrogen, in part so it can be refuel from ice water on the moon’s poles. Hydrogen fuel cells will power the device through the lunar night.” The Blue Moon lander can bring 3.6 metric tons to the lunar surface, according to Bezos. Blue Moon will weigh 33,000 pounds when loaded with fuel on lift-off from Earth, which will decrease to about 7,000 pounds when it is about to land on the Moon.
Bezos also unveiled the company’s BE-7 rocket engine at the event. The engine will be test fired for the first time this summer, Bezos said. It’s largely made of “printed” parts, he added. BE-7 engine is a high-performance liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine that powers the lander’s six minute descent. After it lands, Blue Moon will deploy a small rover.
— Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) May 9, 2019
Bezos hopes missions can commence by 2024. The Trump administration had directed NASA for a return to the moon by 2024 and said to “accomplish this goal by any means necessary.” “I love Vice President Pence’s 2024 lunar landing goal,” Bezos said, adding that Blue Origin can meet that timeline “because we started this three years ago.”
“The kids here and their kids and grandchildren will build these colonies. My generation’s job is to build the infrastructure so they will be able to. We are going to build a road to space,” Bezos told the audience. “And then amazing things will happen. Then you’ll see entrepreneurial creativity. Then you’ll see space entrepreneurs start companies in their dorm rooms. That can’t happen today.”
Not just Bezos, Elon Musk has also publicly announced his own plans for space colonization. Unlike Bezos, Musk is a more of Mars guy. He sees colonizing Mars as humanity’s best “Plan B.” The SpaceX CEO has outlined a bold plan to get people to the red planet, by 2024.
All these plans are surely awe-inspiring, but Dr. S.A. Applin, tech reporter at Vice, contradicts these motives stating that tech billionaires are building their tech utopias, pursuing their hobbies, and charting humanity’s future, without consulting us- and sadly we can do little to influence their decisions.
Not only this, the government has also appointed these wealthy space titans as the only ones to decide humanity’s future. In April, the US House of Representatives passed an Act that says, “outer space shall not be considered a global commons.” “This means”, states Applin, “unless we are in the United States, and incredibly wealthy, we aren’t allowed to think about outer space—it belongs to the rich, which right now means SpaceX and Blue Origin.”
People on Twitter had a similar opinion after Bezos unveiled Blue Moon.
On Bezos statement about how these future space colonies are, “Maui on its best day all year long. No rain, no storms, no earthquakes,” Grady Booch, a scientist based in Maui tweeted, “I live on Maui. And it is paradise. But we have yet to figure out how to not import 80% of our food and pretty much all our fuel, and to provide reasonable housing for the people who live here.”
“Billionaires are so obsessed with space colonization” tweeted Natalie Shure, a Los Angeles-based writer and researcher. “They see it as a solution to climate change that doesn’t involve confronting capitalism”
Space colonization is endlessly hilarious as a solution to the survival of the human race, because every globe in this solar system would require at least extensive, centuries-long terraforming to be habitable to humans, EXCEPT ONE, and look what we did to THAT.
— John Harris (@rodneylives) May 9, 2019
Loren Grush, senior science reporter at The Verge, who was present at the press event tweeted minute-by-minute details of Bezos’ presentation. One of the statements Bezos made: “If we’re out in the solar system, we can have a trillion humans in the solar system, which means we’d have 1000 Mozarts and 1000 Einsteins.”
Bezos: "If we're out in the solar system, we can have a trillion humans in the solar system, which means we'd have 1000 Mozarts and 1000 Einsteins."
— Loren Grush (@lorengrush) May 9, 2019
Others also talked about how billionaires should consider addressing serious present issues such as climate change, feeding the starving, ending bigotry and war, keeping kids from shooting up schools and talking about improving world healthcare, instead of pursuing space dreams.
Poor people without healthcare reading about how Bezos is literally gonna spend the billions he doesn't pay in fed taxes in outer space. pic.twitter.com/QyAQoQ4R4b
— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) May 9, 2019
Don't worry about all this we'll colonize the moon is 2019's let them eat cake https://t.co/9N8xatpdSJ
— Meredith Whittaker (@mer__edith) May 10, 2019
Daily reminder we could colonize the moon by using just 6% of Jeff Bezos net worth. (The same cost of ending world hunger as well.) https://t.co/HvX1pzuVZw
— OccuWorld ❌ (@OccuWorld) May 10, 2019
@theMutantLeague I mean: He wants to colonize the moon but we can't get even feed the starving, end bigotry & war, trust our politicians, or keep kids from shooting up schools. https://t.co/b69I3PtNiK
— Zachariah Bennet Douglas (@ZBDouglas) May 9, 2019