It follows the equally dreamy exclamations of another space billionaire, Richard Branson, who also portrayed his own self-funded suborbital escapade as something beyond human language. “I can never do him justice,” he told his own press conference. “It’s indescribably beautiful.” One word he kept using was “inspiration” – space, in his opinion, was not an endless void but a life-changing mountain peak that symbolizes what humans can accomplish.
Even Virgin’s chief operating engineer Colin Bennet, who was on the flight, jumped on the bandwagon of fear, describing space as some kind of heaven. “It’s very Zen,” he said. “It’s also very quiet up there. What jumped out at me were the colors and how far it looked… I was just mesmerized.
Space travel, it seems, is all about inspiration, beauty, and returning… to our natural state?
Of course, we’ve already heard a lot about the intangible magic of contemplating Earth from NASA astronauts who have experienced spiritual moments in the course of their work. But as more and more people visit the space not to work, but to engage in a life-changing experience, the revelation turns from a fortuitous side effect to the gist. The premise of space tourism is not exactly guaranteed satori, but it is certainly implicit. (That, and a lot of fun to float. The video from RSS First Step, the New Shepard capsule, showed the team tumbling and playing, throwing a ball and bowling without gravity against each other. other.)
But even as Jeff Bezos gushed from the amazement of his flirtation with space, the point is that ultimately all of this gibberish is secondary to him. The thrills and revelations of space travel are just the catalyst for the main reason he launched Blue Origin: to begin a journey in which millions of humans would leave Earth to live and reproduce in space colonies, extending our species to over a trillion souls.
He was explicit about this when I spoke to him in 2018: “I love the adventure of space; it’s great, ”he said. “But that pales in comparison to the importance of making sure our grandchildren’s grandchildren don’t face a life of stasis. Basically, we have a choice to make as a civilization, namely: do we develop in the solar system or do we accept stasis here on Earth? Over the years people have given many reasons why we have to go to space, and this is the only one that I personally find super motivating.
At his post-flight press conference yesterday, he repeated the message, while tactically avoiding talking explicitly about space colonies. “What we do is not just adventure,” he said. “It’s also important. Because what we do is big. … We are going to build a road to space so that our children – and their children – can build a future for themselves.
He then insisted that his goal was not to escape Earth, but economy because it is “the only good planet in the solar system”. But as I understood from hours of conversation in 2018, he sees Earth as a reserve, a haven, which can be preserved once the destructive fabrication is moved to the unimaginable vastness of space in order to that natural ecology can thrive. The people who still live here will be the stewards of the Earth. The huge population of humans living in lush galactic colonies, don’t think of the International space station, but massive green structures with lakes, malls, and stadiums can return to their home planet for tours or residences.