Jeff Bezos, Amazon
boss and world’s richest man, talked to a Washington, D.C., crowd earlier this month about his futuristic vision of huge space colonies that would provide sustainable homes for a trillion people.
“These are very large structures, miles on end, and they hold a million people or more each,” Bezos explained in his presentation. The concept harkens back to the one envisioned decades ago by physicist Gerard O’Neill, who taught at Princeton at the same time Bezos went there.
Here’s a glimpse of what it would look like:
“As population continues to expand, we’ll have to abandon the development of greater individual freedom and accept a much more regulated life with diminished options,” O’Neill told OMNI magazine in an interview back in 1979. “There would be fewer people living on Earth and an increasing fraction living in space, where there’s unimaginable room. Those in space colonies would also find the situation much more open and free.”
Elon Musk, however, isn’t buying it
‘Makes no sense. In order to grow the colony, you’d have to transport vast amounts of mass from planets/moons/asteroids. Would be like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!’
That’s how Musk, another billionaire tycoon with massive space ambitions, responded on Twitter
Wednesday when one of his followers asked what he thought about these space colonies.
This isn’t the first time Musk has taken a shot at his rocket-loving rival. After Bezos’s presentation a few weeks ago, Musk fired off this tweet:
Of course, some critics would contend that Musk’s plans for moving beyond Earth don’t make much sense, either. Rather than floating rings in space, Musk says we need to colonize Mars as a means to escape the destruction of our planet.
Count Bezos among those critics.
“We want to go to space to save the Earth,” Bezos said at an event in 2016. “I don’t like the ‘Plan B’ idea that we want to go to space so we have a backup planet… We have sent probes to every planet in this solar system, and believe me, this is the best planet. There is no doubt. This is the one that you want to protect.”