Amazon boss Jeff Bezos accepted the first Buzz Aldrin Space Innovation Award with an optimistic speech about humanity’s future in space.
Apollo 11’s historic touchdown on the moon was celebrated at a Cape Canaveral gala on the 48th anniversary of the event and hosted by pioneering astronaut Buzz Aldrin himself. Aldrin praised Bezos for “thinking out of the box,” and “being innovative,” two qualities upon which the 87-year-old astronaut prides himself. He said that Bezos has “charted his course through innovation, and he’s been quietly breaking barriers with Blue Origin.”
Bezos was effusive. “I have won this lottery,” he said. “It’s a gigantic lottery, and it’s called Amazon.com. And I’m using my lottery winnings to push us a little further into space.” But he isn’t doing so for the same reasons as so many of his contemporaries. Bezos finds the “Plan B” argument for space colonization “very unmotivating.”
Bezos “[hates the] idea” that humanity will inevitably destroy its current home or render it uninhabitable, and thus require an extra-terrestrial home. He also believes that it is categorically untrue: “We have sent robotic probes now to every planet in this solar system, and believe me, this [Earth] is the best one.”
Instead, Bezos is focused on a more hopeful vision of the future, whereby humanity will unite to expand outward from our Earthly origins, populating our solar neighborhood, starting with the moon. Bezos said that “it’s time for America to go back to the moon, this time to stay.”
We didn’t know back in the ’60s and ’70s, but we know now, that the poles of the moon are extremely interesting places, and we should go back, and we should stay. If we have reusable rockets, we can do it so much more affordably than we have ever done it before. We have the tools. We have the young people with a passion to do it. We can get that done today.
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