Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Kent, WA, United States (4E) – SpaceX founder Elon Musk can have Mars. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world (worth $130 billion) and founder of Amazon.com, wants the Moon, instead.
“We must go back to the moon, and this time to stay,” said Bezos, who believes a lunar colony will save Earth by moving heavy industry into space “within the next 100 years.” He also said colonizing the Moon is a “must” if the human race is to survive.
Bezos said he’s ready to help pave the way for further lunar exploration and eventual settlement with Blue Origin, a privately funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company founded by Bezos in 2000 and based in Kent, Washington. He said Blue Origin and its breakthroughs are the “most important work I’m doing.”
Bezos argues that colonizing the Moon isn’t a matter of choice, but of necessity. “The alternative is stasis,” he pointed out. He said that if humans don’t expand into space, communities on Earth “will have to stop growing” because of environmental and other factors.
“That’s not the future that I want for my grandchildren, or my grandchildren’s grandchildren.”
Bezos said the future Earth will be zoned for residential use, as well as light industries. Heavy industries that are the biggest polluters will conduct their operations in Earth orbit or on the Moon.
“The Earth is not a very good place to do heavy industry. It’s convenient for us right now. In the not-too-distant future — I’m talking decades, maybe 100 years — it’ll start to be easier to do a lot of the things that we currently do on Earth in space, because we’ll have so much energy.”
Bezos didn’t offer specific details about how he plans to realize his vision of lunar colonization, but he did say Blue Origin has drawn up a design for Blue Moon, a lunar lander that can deliver five tons of payload to the Moon’s surface
“We will have to leave this planet,” he asserted. “We’re going to leave it, and it’s going to make this planet better.”
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