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Jeff Bezos during a news briefing at his spaceport in Texas. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, puts goggles over his eyes during a post-launch news briefing from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, July 20, 2021 (AP photo by Tony Gutierrez).

Colonizing Space Is Not the Solution to Our Problems on Earth

Monday, July 26, 2021

Last week, the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, journeyed to the edge of space in a Blue Origin rocket christened the New Shepard. Bezos’ trip came only nine days after his fellow billionaire Richard Branson had done the same in a Virgin Galactic space plane. 

So, what else is new? Wealthy industrialists have always enjoyed building themselves expensive toys. Think Howard Hughes and his Spruce Goose. What sets these voyages apart is their techno-utopianism. Bezos and Branson, along with Space X founder Elon Musk, are the modern avatars of Icarus. They believe that humanity’s destiny lies not on terra firma but in the heavens—and that exploring, exploiting and ultimately colonizing the solar system offers our species its best and perhaps only chance to escape our Earth-bound problems.  ...

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