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posted by martyb on Sunday February 24 2019, @03:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the circular-reasoning dept.

Jeff Bezos just gave a private talk in New York. From utopian space colonies to dissing Elon Musk's Martian dream, here are the most notable things he said.

  • Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, gave a talk to a members-only event at the Yale Club in New York on Tuesday.
  • During the 30-minute lecture, Bezos said his private aerospace company, Blue Origin, would launch its first people into space aboard a New Shepard rocket in 2019.
  • Bezos also questioned the capabilities of a space tourism competitor, Virgin Galactic, and criticized the goal of Elon Musk and SpaceX to settle Mars with humans.
  • Ultimately, Bezos said he wants Blue Origin to enable a space-faring civilization where "a Mark Zuckerberg of space" and "1,000 Mozarts and 1,000 Einsteins" can flourish.
  • Bezos advised the crowd to hold a powerful, personal long-term vision, but to devote "the vast majority of your energy and attention" on shorter-term activities and those ranging up to 2- or 3-year timeframes.

[...] Bezos: I don't think we'll live on planets, by the way. I think we'll live in giant O'Neal[sic]-style space colonies. Gerard O'Neil, decades ago, came up with this idea. He asked his physics students at Princeton a very simple question, but a very unusual one, which is: Is a planetary surface the right place for humanity to expand in the solar system? And after doing a lot of work, they came back and decided the answer was "no." There's a fascinating interview with Isaac Asimov, Gerard O'Neill, and their interviewer that you can find on YouTube from many decades ago. And to Asimov, the interviewer says, "Why do you think we're so focused, then, on expanding onto other planetary surfaces?" And Asimov says, "That's simple. We grew up on a planet, we're planet chauvinists."

But the space colonies we'll build will have many advantages. The primary one is that they'll be close to Earth. The transit time and the amount of energy required to move between planets is so high. But if you have giant space colonies that are energetically close and, in terms of travel time close to Earth, then people will be able to come and go. Very few people are going to want to leave this planet permanently — it's just too amazing.

Ultimately what will happen, is this planet will be zoned residential and light industry. We'll have universities here and so on, but we won't do heavy industry here. Why would we? This is the gem of the solar system. Why would we do heavy industry here? It's nonsense.

And so over time — of course you have to today — but over time that transition will happen very naturally. It'll even be the business-smart thing to do because the energy and resources will be so much cheaper off-planet that industries will naturally gravitate to those lower-cost environments.

Previously: Jeff Bezos' Vision for Space: One Trillion Population in the Solar System
Jeff Bezos Details Moon Settlement Ambitions in Interview

Related: Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin Expects to Sell Tickets for Manned Suborbital Flights in 2019
Blue Origin Wins Contract to Supply United Launch Alliance With BE-4 Rocket Engines
New Shepard Makes 10th Launch as Blue Origin Aims to Fly Humans Late in 2019
Blue Origin Starts Construction of Rocket Engine Factory in Alabama
Blue Origin to Provide Multiple Orbital Launches for Telesat


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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24 2019, @04:09PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24 2019, @04:09PM (#805955)

    Clearly, Bozos is looking for "B Ark" material.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday February 24 2019, @04:17PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Sunday February 24 2019, @04:17PM (#805956) Journal

    1,000 Zuckerborgs vs. 1,000 Mozarts vs. 1,000 Einsteins Battle Royale

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    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Sunday February 24 2019, @05:43PM

      by Gaaark (41) on Sunday February 24 2019, @05:43PM (#805981) Journal

      Don't forget his wife: i'm sure she'll be there if he has ANYTHING to do with it, lol.

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  • (Score: 1) by Tokolosh on Monday February 25 2019, @02:41PM

    by Tokolosh (585) on Monday February 25 2019, @02:41PM (#806305)

    And so he is wrong. The "colony" should be filled with all the middlemen of Earth, such as the telephone sanitisers, account executives, hairdressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives, and management consultants.