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Bezos blasts off


Jeff Bezos at the Blue Origin landing pad in Van Horn, Texas Associated Press/Photo by Tony Gutierrez

Bezos blasts off

On the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, the wealthiest man in the world spent 10 minutes and 10 seconds in space on a capsule built by his company Blue Origin. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, flew on the rocket with his brother, Mark Bezos; an 18-year-old Dutch student; and Wally Funk, 82, a female pilot from Texas who passed NASA tests in the 1960s but never made it to space until Tuesday. Funk and the Dutch teen are now the oldest and youngest people to fly in space.

Is this the start of space tourism? Blue Origin plans to make two more passenger flights this year. Competitor company Virgin Galactic has taken more than 600 reservations for space flights. Tickets cost about $250,000 each. Both companies are challenging NASA’s exclusive contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has its first commercial space flight scheduled for September.

Dig deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings on SpaceX’s race to set records.

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OldMike

I can only shake my head at the ignorance of people who complain about the cost of these things being “wasted money that should have gone to help the poor.”

No one has ever launched a bag of money into space, to just leave it there unavailable for meeting human needs. Every dollar of the billions spent on space exploration—whether for valuable research or billionaires’ vanity projects—has been spent here on earth. Workers like you and me were paid wages to design, build, and launch those things. We then spent the money on groceries, homes, healthcare, and other needs of our families. Some of us have bought bass boats, vacations, jewelry, video games. Every single thing we bought was provided by others who are working to earn a living for their own families. Many of us even gave some of the money to charitable organization, including our churches or other religious entities.

Again, the money spent even on launching a Tesla into orbit all stayed right here on earth, every single dollar, circulating continuously from person to person.

OldMike

Darn. I guess we didn’t get enough signatures on the petition to leave him out there.