Jeff Bezos made his billions with Amazon but he’s gone far, far past that now.
The billionaire and one-time richest person in the world is focusing efforts on Blue Origin, the private space company he founded.
Recently, Blue Origin revealed its Blue Moon lunar lander at a special event in the United States. Alongside that, the company has shown off a set of futuristic habitats that could one day support human life away from Earth.
Granted, these are nothing more than pretty pictures at the moment. But it speaks to the ambition of the company that many see as going toe-to-toe with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
These concept images build off work done by physicist Gerard O’Neill, who Bezos studied under during his time at Princeton University. The habitats are designed to be self-sustaining and could, one day, allow trillions of people to live in off-world colonies.
While Bezos was apparently light on the details, he had plenty to say about the kinds of lives that we’d all be able to live on these space colonies.
‘These are very large structures, miles on end, and they hold a million people or more each,’ he said.
‘Some of them would be more recreational – they don’t all have to have the same gravity – they can have a recreational one that keeps it zero-g so you can go flying with your own wings.’
Because everything would be (obviously) artificial, humans would have total control over the environment. The weather would always be perfect and there would be no storms or earthquakes or dangerous natural activity.
And lastly, the habitats would all be close enough to Earth to make it possible for us to travel back and forth in a day.
‘They can be close to Earth so that you can return,’ Bezos said. ‘Which is important, because people are going to want to return to Earth. They’re not going to want to leave Earth forever. They’re also going to be able to go between.’
However, even the man who created the biggest retailer on Earth, owns the Washington Post and oversees a space company notes there may be some limitations.
This is going to take a long time, this is a big vision,’ Bezos told those assembled.
‘The price of admission to do interesting things in space right now is just too high.’
So it might not be right around the corner, but it’s a fair bet that somewhere in a secretive Blue Origin lab right now, engineers are toiling away to try and make this become a reality.
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