Jeff Bezos is ready to take a rocket, taking a small step towards his dreamy vision of space
The founder of Amazon, in a sense the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos will board the Blue Origin Rocket with three others on Tuesday (9 am EST) to listen to a wider audience His space travel version.
Just after Virgin Galactic performer Richard Branson took the Virgin Unity Spaceplane close to the edge of space on July 11, it can be said that he stole Bezos’ limelight.
But there is reason to believe that Bezos has realized his space dream more seriously.
Branson did not announce his intentions until Blue Origin revealed the date of Bezos, which happened to be 52 years after Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
Although Branson’s Virgin Orbit has sent the spacecraft into orbiting space to launch satellites, its high-profile events are solely to promote the possibility of regular but expensive suborbital space tourism.
For Bezos in the United States, space tourism usually seems to be a means Achieve more ambitious goals, Including giving away people to the moon.
Both Bezos and Branson claimed that watching the Apollo 11 milestone inspired their space ambitions, but the British entrepreneur only said this retrospectively, including in his memoirs. When Branson’s only major company, Virgin Records, directed the pistol, Branson would certainly not be asked about his space design.
At the same time, the career of Bezos’ grandfather Lawrence Gise included working in the space technology and ballistic missile defense fields of the US Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense. Bezos often missed the summer spent in Guise’s ranch, where they would repair and rebuild various machines.
Watch the previous Blue Origin launch, without passengers:
As early as 1982, Bezos’ ambitions have been recorded, when he was the introduction of the Miami Herald to local high school graduates. According to the Herald, the goal of Palmetto High School is to “build space hotels, amusement parks, yachts and colonies for two to three million people orbiting the earth.” “His ultimate goal is to let everyone leave the earth and see it turn into a huge national park.”
“The whole idea is to protect the planet,” Bezos told the newspaper.
Long-term space vision
It’s worth noting that, given that Amazon’s current and former executives were keen to talk about Bezos’ ability to make strategic adjustments to his most famous company in interviews, his space vision has hardly changed.
During the launch of the Blue Origin lunar module in 2019, Bezos insisted that population growth and the ensuing energy consumption required by humans will make the earth an increasingly miserable place for future generations to live. It is characterized by scarcity and rationing of natural resources.
He said: “We must save this planet, and we should not give up the future for the vitality and growth of our grandchildren.”
Unlike SpaceX’s Musk who is excited about the prospect of colonizing Mars, Bezos envisions a climate control structure that is several kilometers in free space propelled by rotating gravity. He said that one day there will be a lot of heavy industry and resource extraction in space to help protect the planet. This vision was partly inspired by the late Princeton futurist Gerard O’Neill.
On social media, Bezos, Branson, and Musk have been criticized and even scorned for their great personal wealth and their efforts in space. They seem to use loopholes to limit their tax risk, ProPublica report Recently, after obtaining a large number of IRS documents, Bezos did not pay federal income tax in 2007 and 2011.
Similarly, even semi-scheduled space tourism flights can have harmful effects on the environment. But these three have made major climate change commitments, which will undoubtedly be subject to strict scrutiny in the next few years. It is important to note that NASA started 135 space shuttle flights from 1981 to 2011, not to mention Said that the activities before the space shuttle went back to about twenty years ago.
In Bezos’s case, he touted the reusability of the Blue Origin rocket. Otherwise, he said, it’s like “driving your car to the mall and throwing it away in one trip.”
U.S. government-backed space billionaire
Some criticisms have nothing to do with how we do this.
After a thorough review of NASA’s operations, President Barack Obama decided that it was no longer feasible for the respected space agency to address every ambition of the United States without substantial involvement of the private sector. Although Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic were all established at that time, it helped to stimulate their activities.
Blue Origin and SpaceX in particular participated in the bidding for a series of contracts between NASA and the Department of Defense. In the case of a smaller scale, there are also some Canadian companies that have a vested interest in the expansion of the private space industry.
The Bezos conference will lack the brilliance of the Branson show, and the form will be quite different. Blue Origin’s 18-meter-high New Shepard lifted off from a standing position on the launch pad, just like a traditional rocket launch. At Virgin Galactic, a rocket-powered space plane fell from an aircraft carrier in mid-air, which placed a heavy burden on the two pilots of the jet carrier.
The new Shepard will carry passengers for approximately 100 kilometers, where it is programmed to separate the capsule, and when the capsule re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, the parachute will deploy. Virgin Galactic’s flight is 86 kilometers from the earth.
Although both provide passengers with similar time in terms of weightlessness, Blue Origin’s space capsule has a wider field of view, and its rocket booster allows its flight duration to be approximately 12 minutes, which is only one part of the galaxy’s time span. Small part.
Day 69:29“Waiting for a lifetime”: My friend said that Wally Funk finally realized her space dream
Bezos is a member of the all-civilian team, including his brother Mark, 82-year-old Wally Funk (a female aviation pioneer in an era of unequal opportunities), and Dutch teenager Oliver Damen.
Ultimately, Bezos will pursue the trio. After Amazon established the e-commerce platform most favored by customers and third-party sellers, its Amazon Web Services established infrastructure to support a series of network, cloud computing and data service needs of different organizations such as Netflix, Shell and Airbnb.
Bezos has stepped down from the daily role of Amazon and said that in his lifetime, Blue Origin will pave the way for the goal of establishing a space colony. Although Bezos has promised to use most of the wealth he earned on Amazon-Forbes estimates his net worth is $208 billion-for Blue Origin activities, the company will need a source of income from high-income customers.
As for the rest?
“I don’t know,” Bezos said. “That is for future generations to figure out the details.”