16 Of The Most Honest Reactions To The Billionaire Space Race Between Bezos, Branson, And Musk

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought dramatic suffering, fear, and death to populations all over the world. People’s lives have been changed in indelible ways causing a deeply existential issue for which there are no easy solutions. However, clearly, the effect of the pandemic has been distributed disproportionately. The space race among the billionaires Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk at a time of global suffering is enough evidence for this.

Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, owns a space agency named Blue Origin, which is already set to take him to outer space. He’ll be achieving his childhood dream on July 20 where he’ll get inside his own space shuttle, New Shepard, and set off to explore space. Nonetheless, neither is this the first time a billionaire launched themselves above us nor it is the last. The credit of being the first person to complete this feat goes to Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian-born American software architect.

In June, Bezos revealed his space mission to the public. Shortly afterward, Richard Branson, the 71-year-old English magnate, unveiled that he will be boarding his won space shuttle, the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity, for a journey to space just a week before Bezos. And he did, on Sunday.

Billionaire Space Race

We now seem to have a winner for the unofficial space race, but interestingly, not everyone finds this inspiring. One such person who unapologetically expressed their opinion is writer Jacob Silverman. He called it “a tragically wasteful ego contest”, and he’s not the only person who holds this opinion. Many Twitter users shared similar sentiments regarding this matter and here are 16 of the most honest reactions.

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Silverman described Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk (who is less interested in a personal visit to space) as “three masters of the universe” in his piece for The New Republic and stated that what they’re doing is not fulfilling a collective goal of humanity.

Richard Branson has mentioned that his goal is to make space travel ‘more accessible to all. Ironically, an early reservation on Virgin Galactic flights cost $250,000. Meanwhile, the price of a seat on New Shepard which is set to begin its journey on July 20 is $28 million. “But any honest assessment of the billionaire space race shows that it’s less the dawning of a new epoch of universal space travel than the world’s most expensive infomercial for a network of self-dealing billionaires who plan to make a lot more money down here on terra firma,” Silverman expressed.

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“Spending money he’s earned off the labor of low-wage workers and shuffled between offshore tax havens, he will be the winner in an extravagant pageant that’s designed less to inaugurate a new era of spaceflight than to drum up business for his other companies. Branson, like his would-be spacefaring competitors, isn’t an innovator; he’s a salesman.”

Silverman further explains, “They all retain potentially lucrative interests in satellite launch and rocketry firms, which is where the real money is. And should the launches go well, they all stand to benefit from rising optimism and investment in their industry.”

It isn’t right to expect all billionaires to help every person on the planet and end world hunger, but there are certainly those who contribute a large fraction of their wealth for this purpose. Whether they do or not is up to them, but the fact that they do have the capability cannot be denied.

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