July 21, 2021

Billionaires in Space

Jeff Bezos blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company’s first flight with people on board, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft.” AP News

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From the Right

The right celebrates the launch, arguing that private competition in space flight will reduce costs and lead to technological breakthroughs.

From the Left

The left is generally critical of the launch, arguing that Bezos’s fortune was earned through exploiting workers and that he should face higher taxes.

The left is generally critical of the launch, arguing that Bezos’s fortune was earned through exploiting workers and that he should face higher taxes.

A libertarian's take

“The technologies created by billionaires' space fantasies will propel many of us, rich and poor alike, to better standards of living in ways we haven't yet fully realized. As NASA fans constantly tell us, the agency's spinoff technologies have improved the world. 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…

“But a scientist need not be a public employee to make discoveries that better mankind. 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. And that's just the beginning.”
Liz Wolfe, Reason

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