This Tuesday, Jeff Bezos flew into space for the first time, thanks to his company Blue Origin. Back on Earth, he seemed to have had a revelation: he wants to protect the planet.
Shortly after his first manned spaceflight for Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos said the experience strengthened his commitment to solving the problem of climate change. These few minutes spent admiring the blue planet made him aware of its majesty. And the importance of saving her.
“We live on this beautiful planet. You can’t imagine how thin the atmosphere is when you see it from space. We live in it and it looks so big. It feels like this atmosphere is huge and can be overlooked and abused. When you go up there and see her, you see how tiny and fragile she is,” he told MSNBC reporter Stephanie Ruhle.
What is the pollution generated by Blue Origin?
The world’s richest man – his fortune is valued at $204 billion – announced last year that he would spend $10 billion on spending to help scientists and activists in the fight against climate change. Its name: the Bezos Earth Fund.
At the same time, Amazon pollutes enormously. Between its data centers and its delivery network (planes, trucks, giant warehouses, etc.), the juggernaut had revealed that it had released 44.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018 alone.
As for the rocket used on Tuesday by Blue Origin to send its founder into space, it is one of the best students in the class because its engine runs on hydrogen and liquid oxygen. According to Darin Toohey, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder interviewed by Livescience, the main emissions are “water and some minor combustion products, and virtually no CO2”. This water vapor is not harmless, however: it can have an impact on the upper layers of the atmosphere and, ultimately, contribute to global warming.
Currently, as the number of spaceflights remains relatively low, scientists believe that their impact on the planet is not worrying. On the other hand, as they multiply – this is what is expected – the risk will increase. Carbon dioxide and small particles such as soot and aluminum oxides, emitted by many rockets, are also among the hazards.
The beginning of a “road to space”
In his post-flight interview, Jeff Bezos followed up his spiel with a rather startling statement. “We have to take all the heavy industry, all the polluting industry, and move it into space. And keep the Earth the magnificent jewel that it is. This is going to take decades to achieve, but we have to start. And big things start with small steps,” he explained.
Jeff Bezos also said it was important to develop reusable rockets to reduce waste, as space technologies will help solve the problem of climate change. “We must build a road to space so that our children and their children can build a future,” he said.
Visibly transformed, Jeff Bezos even went there with one: “When you look at the planet, there are no borders. It’s one planet, and we share it and it’s fragile.”
Let’s bet that we won’t have to wait for all the powerful of this world to see the Earth from above to get this click.