It came on the heels of similar dreamy cheers by another space billionaire, Richard Branson, who also portrayed his character. A short self-financing suborbital flight رحلة as something that transcends human language. He said, “I won’t be able to do her justice.” His private press conference. “It is indescribably beautiful.” The word he kept using was “inspiration” – space, in his eyes, was not an infinite void but a life-changing mountaintop symbolizing what humans can accomplish.
Even Colin Bennett, Virgin’s chief operations engineer, who was on the flight, hopped on the horror train, describing the space as a kind of paradise. “It’s very zen,” he said. “It’s very peaceful there too. What jumped out at me were the colors and how far away they are….I was just amazed.”
Space travel seems to be about inspiration, beauty, and getting back…to our normal state?
Of course, we’ve already heard a lot about the intangible magic of staring at the Earth from NASA astronauts who happen to experience spiritual moments while on the job. But as more and more people visit space not for work, but to immerse themselves in a life-altering experience, the revelation moves from a side effect of chance to the point of the matter. The space tourism hypothesis isn’t entirely Satori foolproof, but it is certainly implied. (That, and a lot of fun is floating around. A video from RSS First Step, a New Shepard capsule, showed the crew rolling and playing, tossing the ball, and hitting with zero-gravity Skittles.)
But even as Jeff Bezos gushes about the extravagant flirtation of space, the truth is that, at the end of the day, all that jumbo mumbo is secondary to him. The excitement and revelations of space travel are only enabling factors for the main cause that Blue Origin started: to begin a journey in which millions of humans leave Earth to live and reproduce in space colonies, expanding our species to over a trillion souls.
He was honest about it when I spoke to him in 2018: “I love space adventure; that’s cool,” he said. But that pales in comparison to the importance of making sure our great-grandchildren don’t face a life of stagnation. Essentially, we have a choice to make as a civilization, which is do we expand into the solar system or accept stagnation here on Earth? There have been many reasons over the years that people have given as to why we need to go into space, and that is the only reason I personally find very motivating.”
Yesterday at his post-flight press conference, he reiterated the message, though he tactically avoided talking openly about space colonies. “What we are doing is not just an adventure,” he said. “It’s also important. Because what we’re doing is a big thing. … We’re going to build a path into space so that our children – and their children – can build a future.”
He continued to insist that his goal was not to escape from Earth, but rescue It is “the only good planet in the solar system”. But as I understood him from hours of talking in 2018, he sees the Earth as a preserve, a sanctuary, that can be preserved once destructive industrialization is moved into the unimaginably vast space for the natural environment to thrive. The people who still live here will be the stewards of the earth. The huge number of people living in fertile galactic colonies – don’t think about the distress International Space Station, but huge green structures with lakes, shopping malls and playgrounds – they can return to their home planet for visits or accommodation.