Considering the amount of press and buzz that Richard Branson received when he went up into space last week, Jeff Bezos’ first flight into space has been met with a shrug.
Bezos’ rocket launched in the Texas desert at 8:12am on Tuesday local time (11:12pm AEST) and landed safely after 11 minutes. Once they landed, Bezos began to thank Amazon employees and Amazon customers for making this possible.
Considering the well-documented poor working conditions many Amazon warehouse employees face, this left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
What’s also made people laugh is the idea of Jeff Bezos having to pee in a bottle while up in space, much like his warehouse employees who have reported that they have to resort to this too as many are not allowed bathroom breaks outside of the schedule.
When you compare Bezos with Richard Branson, there is a clear difference in public opinion, despite both being billionaires. Branson is viewed as a more lovable and ambitious billionaire, doing things for the right reason (whether that’s true or not, that’s the perception). Whereas Bezos has been under near constant scrutiny for his business practices relating to Amazon.
Though this all might be because Branson simply did it first. Who cares when the second billionaire goes up into space? Though Bezos insists that this isn’t a competition,
“There’s one person who was the first person in space, his name was Yuri Gagarin, and that happened a long time ago… This isn’t a competition, this is about building a road to space so that future generations can do incredible things in space.”
Billionaires going into space has given people the idea that this is the first step for the super-rich to leave the Earth and leave the rest of humanity on a dying planet. However, Bezos made comments to assuage those fears,
“Big things start small, but you can tell when you’re onto something. And this is important. We’re going to build a road to space, so that our kids and their kids can build the future. This is not about escaping Earth. The whole point, this is the only good planet in this solar system. This is the only good one, I promise you. And we have to take care of it.”
The next launch could take place in either September or October.