Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told audiences at a private talk at Yale on Tuesday that Blue Origin is his most important work. The billionaire says he has the vision to set up the infrastructure for other space startups to succeed.
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Bezos’ space exploration company is propped up by a system that liquidates a billion dollars of Amazon's shares every year to fund it.
The talk was hosted by The Wings Club, a professional aviation group, and moderated by Jeff Foust, a senior staff writer at Space News. Bezos told Foust that while there were support systems for companies like Amazon and Facebook to succeed when they started, the same types of opportunities don’t exist for small space-based companies.
Bezos wants to give next-gen space companies a leg up
The richest human in the world says he sees his role in being able to provide the base level support for other companies to succeed in the area. He says he wants to translate the research and infrastructure of Blue Origin into ways in which other emerging space companies can get a foothold in the industry.
Currently, it is challenging for smaller companies to make inroads due to the high costs required. Other space companies such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX are also funded through their billionaire founders. Blue Origin is developing a spacecraft suitable for crewed missions to space called New Shepard.
Colonizing Mars is short-sighted
There are reported crewed test flights will happen this year, although Bezos has been reluctant to set a fixed launch date saying that they will fly when the craft is ready.
Bezos also threw some shade at SpaceX founder Elon Musk during his talk. Telling the audience that if any of them had plans to go live on Mars, they should go and live on the top of Everest first, as the remote area would be far more pleasant than life on Mars will ever be.
Bezos claimed that Blue Origin had a mission to protect the earth, not colonize other planets. He says one way that Blue Origin is setting itself apart from its competitors its tourism flights that will send humans on suborbital space missions.
Bezos states that these high-frequency flights will make them the very good at building and launching rockets that are reliable as well as cost-effective. He used the analogy of a surgeon needing to doing the same procedure at a high frequency to become an expert in their field.
The same can be said for rocket launches. Low frequency and high-cost launches make technology slower to develop and test as there is so much pressure on success.
Bezos spoke at the 25th Wired Conference last year. He told audiences there that he had a vision for more than a trillion humans in space. He insisted that a population level that high, there would be ‘a 1000 Mozarts’.