Jeff Bezos: We have to live in space to save Earth

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he is investing in space technologies as he believes the human population is destroying Earth.

Bezos, the richest person in the world with a current net worth of US$125 billion, told CBS Evening News why he is putting his money into his aerospace company Blue Origin.

“We humans have to go to space if we are going to continue to have a thriving civilisation,” Bezos told host Norah O’Donnell, reported USA Today.

“We have become big as a population, as a species, and this planet is relatively small. We see it in things like climate change and pollution and heavy industry. We are in the process of destroying this planet. And we have sent robotic probes to every planet in the solar system – this is the good one. So, we have to preserve this planet.”

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Bezos said he became fascinated with space when he was child watching Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong land on the moon on July 20, 1969.

“You don’t choose your passions, your passions choose you,” he told O’Donnell.

Bezos said developing technologies to live and work beyond Earth was paramount and that is why he created Blue Origin.

“I think it is important for this planet. I think it’s important for the dynamism of future generations. It is something I care deeply about. And it is something I have been thinking about all my life,” he said.

“We send things up into space, but they are all made on Earth. Eventually it will be much cheaper and simpler to make really complicated things, like microprocessors and everything, in space and then send those highly complex manufactured objects back down to earth, so that we don’t have the big factories and pollution generating industries that make those things now on Earth,” Bezos said.

“And Earth can be zoned residential.”

Bezos, who was interviewed with Caroline Kennedy at the JFK Space Summit, said that his vision was still a long way from reality.

It will be “multiple generations” and “hundreds of years” Bezos told O’Donnell.

Blue Origin he said was working on technology that will make it possible for people to be able to live in space (in self-sufficient space structures) if they so choose, Bezos said.

“People are going to want to live on Earth, and they are going to want to live off Earth. There are going to be very nice places to live off earth as well. People will make that choice.”

Astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, wrote Bezos a letter in 2016 saying the work Bezos was doing would eventually make space travel as common as air travel.

“He wrote me the most beautiful letter just a few days before he passed away and I have it framed in my office and it is very meaningful to me,” Bezos said.

Glenn said in that letter he saw a future when we will board spacecraft like jetliners, and “when that happens, it will largely be because of your epic achievements.”

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