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Jeff Bezos Goes to Space and Everybody is a Bit Unimpressed

Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin Spacecraft launch on Tuesday leaves the general population ambivalent. People care more about how phallic the ship looks than a future commercial space travel.

Credit: Wired/YouTube

With the launch of Jeff Bezos’s long-awaited “Blue Origin” spacecraft, the world let out a collective shrug. Launching just a few days after Richard Bransen’s July 11th “space” trip, Blue Origin made one thing clear to everybody: the billionaire space race has officially begun.

Why? It was the first question on everybody’s mind as Jeff Bezos and his ultramarine-clad space squad prepared for launch. Why should we care? Why has so much money been pooled into the project? Why is Jeff Bezos wearing that cowboy hat?

While the news media has covered the first privatized space trips in-depth, the public sentiment around them is surprisingly ambivalent.

Bezos speaks about the trip at a Blue Origin press conference
Credit: CNBC/Youtube

Or, maybe not so surprising. Bezos’s big speech to commemorate his trip had a disturbing lack of awareness as he thanked all the people who made his trip possible. “I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this,” he said.

It’s no secret how Amazon treats its employees. The line seems not only tone-deaf, but somewhat mocking of the struggles workers have gone through for his expense. Amazon’s net worth increased exponentially during 2020, as did awareness of its worker mistreatment. A lot of reactions towards Blue Origin and projects like it come in the form of criticism.

In addition, Blue Origin was recently bailed out by the U.S. Senate for 10 billion dollars. The money could have went to our public space program in N.A.S.A, so it makes the private one less exciting

Jeff Bezos isn’t the only billionaire to receive apathetic and unenthusiastic support for his glamour projects. Just earlier this year, Elon Musk was criticized for his SNL appearance, albeit more jokingly, and his Mars colonization efforts seem somewhat dystopian.

It seems like everyone is just a bit tired of the ultra-wealthy trying to come across as cool and relatable.

Elon Musk in his uncontroversially bad SNL sketch.
Credit: SNL/Youtube

People are ready to cite 2021 as the beginning of the “Billionaire Space Age“, calling back to the aesthetics of 1960s space race. And it’s pretty easy to see why the space race has nostalgic value in even current generations. It no-doubt had a positive benefit on scientific and industrial progress in both the United States and the world.

Everybody gathered around their brick-shaped television screens to watch Buzz Aldrin (and, yes, Neil Armstrong) step foot on the moon. Our education system, medical equipment, and technology were better for it. Everybody paid for the adventure, and everybody benefited. And to be fair, everybody definitely paid for Jeff Bezos’s interstellar Margaritaville, too.

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