Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos was the Amazon founder. He regaled his high school graduating class with his ambitious aspirations for building amusement parks, space hotels and yachts that would allow him to live on extraterrestrial planets. Merely four decades later, he hasn’t quite achieved his lofty goal, but he launched himself (and friends) into space via his self-funded space company—something that hadn’t seemed possible for pretty much the entirety of human existence, up until a mad-dash billionaire traffic jam earlier this year.
This is not so bad, considering the fact that space once belonged to astronauts only after years of rigorous training. Only a handful of them would ever be able see it from above. It’s now for Bezos and Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Branson and Captain Kirk/William Shatner. But no longer, if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) He will get his way.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “It’s not acceptable for the two wealthiest persons in this country Mr. Musk and Mr. Bezos to take control of our space endeavors to return the Moon to Earth, […]It isn’t something two billionaires should be doing. pic.twitter.com/Bi4VcXi08T
— The Hill (@thehill) November 18, 2021
“Frankly, it is not acceptable…that the two wealthiest people in this country, Mr. [Elon]Musk and Mr. Bezos: Take control of our efforts to return the moon to space,” Sanders said in a Senate floor speech. She was critical of components of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (which might include a $10 million government contract for Blue Origin). “This is not for two billionaires; this is for the American people.”
While it is fair to critique the possible market-distorting impacts of NASA-commercial space exploration company partnerships, as well as the fact that these companies regularly sic the Federal Communications Commission against each other to stop competition, it’s also right to take criticism of how the companies’ satellite internet projects are run. When he criticizes the Senate’s bill, he isn’t really focusing on it. Instead, a new jeremiad has been launched against the rich and their awesome rockets.
In Sanders’ flawed view of the world, billionaires cause the problems and central planners cough up the solutions—contra observable, real-world results.
According to an analysis done in 2018, the average cost for launching a spacecraft to orbit by SpaceX Falcon 9 was 20 percent lower than a NASA launch. There’s good reason to believe that the course charted by commercial air travel—initially expensive, lengthy, less safe, and reserved for the elite few—will be mimicked by commercial space travel. This is why there shouldn’t be any reason for the government to only pay for large-scale projects, even though it is already in deep trouble. Price competition drives down prices. If a few billionaires have cash burning holes in their pockets it is ok for them to use it on astral passion projects. Many of these projects result in spinoff technologies, which eventually trickle down and solve the most difficult problems on Earth.
Like I said in July
NASA-loving fans tell us all the time [that]The world has benefited from the spinoff technology of the agency. Sensors developed to measure and remove harmful moon dust have since been used to better detect air pollution here on Earth; advances in aerodynamics have made semi-trucks faster and more fuel-efficient than before; a more durable polymer material developed by NASA scientists is now used for hip replacements. It’s easier than ever to get hot water on demand, to fly airplanes, and to get a life raft that will actually deliver you to safety if you’re stranded at sea.
Scientists do not have to be public employees in order to discover new ways of improving the lives of humanity. Musk and Bezos are competing to develop a satellite internet service that could drastically improve internet access and speed for unserved parts of the globe. SpaceX has been focused on improving the reusability of rocket components (while spending a fraction of what it would cost NASA to put similar rockets into flight), making space exploration cheaper and less wasteful.
Sanders is being honest when he states that space racing “isn’t something two billionaires can be directed; it is something the American people should be determining.” You will notice the distinction between Directing And The determining factorIt’s okay (but unlikely) that the American people tell their representatives that they want space exploration to be a priority. They can decide what they like, but they don’t have the power or ability to make the project a success. Joe the plumber is unable to execute on this project. Elon Musk, however, can.
The state is the richest country in terms of money. SpaceX is behind them, but they don’t have the capital. Tech isn’t limited by its competence, not even its capital.
After all, who knows more about rocket science — politicians or Musk? https://t.co/WQcbTCCLhj
— Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis) November 18, 2021
The trend is to criticize billionaires for frivolous pursuits. Sanders has been tweeting at Musk for weeks. He probably knows that this resonates well with his followers. However, it is wrong for current senators and others to deny the existence of the space race. It is awesome and may bring about unexpected benefits that go beyond what we could have imagined.
For myself personally, I would pay exorbitant if any socialists got their way and forced me to stand in breadlines. tax ratesI would swear allegiance the Sandinistas. Sanders and his socialist buddies would be responsible for creating the problem. AndThey are the ones that keep people from moving forward, forcing them to continue living in this blue dot of politician-ransacked lameness.