Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos wants to build a new community of super-humans in space.
The Amazon boss, who’s estimated to be worth £103billion, dreams of putting a trillion people in the solar system to create colonies populated by ‘1,000 Mozarts and Einsteins’.
The tech mogul, 55, detailed his ambitious plans during a speech about his space transport company, Blue Origin.
The solar system can support a trillion humans, and then we’d have 1,000 Mozarts, and 1,000 Einsteins. Think how incredible and dynamic that civilization will be,’ he told an audience at New York’s Yale Club.
‘But if we’re going to have that, we do have to go out into the solar system. You have to capture more of the sun’s output, and we have to use all of the resources that are out in space, in terms of minerals and not just energy. And that’s very doable, but we have to get started.’
As reported by Business Insider, he added: ‘The fact of the matter is we don’t have forever, and the first step — I don’t know all future steps — but I know one of them is we need to build a low-cost, highly operable, reusable launch vehicle. No matter which path you take, it has to go through that gate.
‘That’s a very expensive step. That’s why Blue Origin is focused on it. It’s not something that two kids in a dorm room are going to do. But I really want that dynamic life and civilization for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. But we’ve got to get started.’
Bezos is currently in fierce competition with Elon Musk and Virgin’s Richard Branson to launch the first-ever commercial space mission.
But, last year, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, flew higher than it ever had before, surpassing what the US Air Force considers the boundary of space, and marking the first manned flight to space from US soil since 2011.
The spaceship made it to a peak height of 51.4 miles (82.7 km). The US Air Force considers the space boundary to be at 50 miles.
The brief, suborbital flight – with two pilots on board – was a key milestone for the company which is striving to send tourists to space at a cost of $250,000 (£191,000) per seat.
Neither Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic is ready to board their first paying passengers, but both are targeting the first such flights this year.
GOING TO SPACE WITH BLUE ORIGIN: HOW IT WORKS
The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.
The two vehicles launch together, accelerating for approximately two and a half minutes, before the engine cuts off.
The capsule then separates from the booster to coast quietly into space.
After a few minutes of free fall, the booster performs an autonomous rocket-powered vertical landing.
The passenger capsule lands softly under parachutes, both ready to be used again.
In January, Bezos spoke about his ambitions at the 16th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards in Beverly Hills.
‘We could have a trillion humans in the solar system, we could have a thousand Mozarts and a thousand Einsteins, that’s the world I want my grandchildren’s grandchildren to live in,’ he told the audience.
‘This isn’t a problem for anybody in this room. We’re fine. But we have to set things up for future generations as well. And if you want them to be free, they do have to be able to leave this planet.’
The Amazon founder said he was inspired to pursue science and engineering by the 1969 moon landing, and plans to eventually build permanent settlements there.
‘It’s time to go back to the moon. It’s time to stay. We shouldn’t do an expedition. When we do that, we will find it’s a very useful place to build all kinds of things we will use to explore the solar system,’ he said.
‘We really need to figure out how to build space colonies, giant colonies. Picture rivers and lakes and so on,’ Bezos added. ‘We’re going to do that with space resources, we’re not going to lift all of that off Earth. And that’s where we will house a trillion people.’
WHO IS JEFF BEZOS?
Jeff Bezos is best known as the founder and CEO of online giant Amazon.
Born in New Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas, he went on to attend the prestigious Princeton University and graduated in 1986.
After a decade or so of work on Wall Street, Mr Bezos founded his own company in 1994.
He initially called his company Cadabra, and then reportedly changed the name to Amazon when a colleague misheard it as ‘cadaver’.
Initially, it was launched as an online book store working out of Bezo’s garage in Seattle but rapidly grew to include a variety of goods and services.
Now, Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world and the most successful website in the world.
In 2018, the company is worth around $900 (£691 billion).
Mr Bezos himself has an estimated net worth of $150 billion (£115 billion).
He has bought and accumulated a variety of different companies and outlets including: Whole Foods, The Washington Post, Twitch and IMDB.
He has a controlling share of 17 per cent in his first company, Amazon.
In 2017, Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world, and the richest person of the modern world.
He has been married since 1994 and has four children.