#BlueMoon: Jeff Bezos says Blue Origin will land on Moon by 2024

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/10/bluemoon-jeff-bezos-says-blu.html

“We must return to the Moon—this time to stay.”

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There are good reasons to explore and even colonize space but overpopulation isn’t one of them. There is no plausible scenario in which any numerically significant portion of humanity could be relocated to space.


“…to access the resource-rich lunar surface, Bezos said.”

So, we’re supposed to get excited over a glorified strip mining operation?


Why do I feel like Bezos is turning into East India Tea Company, Part 2: Lunar Bugaloo?


So many problems here on Earth, and I don’t see how going to the moon, mining resources from the moon, putting a population on the moon, will solve any of them.

Rich guys with money to burn and an ego that apparently needs massaging.


Well, we’ve done destroyed this rock we’ve lived on, and soon all the profitable goods will run out… time to find more profitable goods elsewhere! /s



Space exploration has a net positive effect on the economy. The myth that space exploration wastes money has been dispelled since 1973 with the release of the Technology Utilization Program Report. Memory foam created a whole new industry. MRI changed the way we do medicine. Smoke detectors have saved untold lives. The Mars Curiosity mission alone pumped $2.5 billion into the economy right here on earth. It employed 7000 people in 31 states.Finally, there is the increase in humanities knowledge which is very difficult to put a value on but IMO it’s pretty high.


Didn’t the report focus on government spending on space exploration, though? Seems to me, we’re subsidizing Mr. Bezos’ dreams by filling the gaps in his workers’ pay with housing assistant, food assistance, and so on, then giving him tax breaks at the municipal level to build all of his distribution centers everywhere.

So, he’s going to turn around and sink that money into space exploration and . . . what? Own those resources he pulls? Own the patents for the new technology? With NASA, there was a vast and wide distribution of those ancillary benefits. With this, it seems like we’re putting it in the hands of a private organization while having paid for it on the backend through tax breaks and social safety nets.


It was either that or his secret robotics initiative.


I’m pretty sure that any link between MRI or smoke detectors to space exploration is extremely tenuous.
Though I am in favour of space exploration another trip to the moon does not seem high priority.


I am not opposed to space exploration. But how much of Bezos’ goal is scientific, and how much is economic? I am A-OK with NASA doing legitimate scientific missions, but Bezos seems to be focused on other things, which don’t seem particularly necessary or realistic. Does Bezos own the moon, that he can just start building colonies or mines?

Also, whenever I hear about “X has a positive impact on the economy” my guard goes up, in a Henrik Ibsen “Enemy of the People” kind of way. There are a lot of things that can benefit the economy, and there are better ways to serve humanity than just generating good economic numbers.


NASA invented digital image processing for the Apollo missions which is central to CT and MRI medical imaging.
In the 1970s NASA partnered with Honeywell to create a device that would detect smoke and toxic gas for Skylab.
Tenuous isn’t the word. Directly created is what it is.

That has zero to do with the space project and only serves to illustrate a bias in your position.

We did the same in the NASA era too. NASA partnered with private industry to develop the space program. Our tax money went to private businesses then too. At least this time, we aren’t paying the big bills so our tax participation is lower than it would be if this was a NASA project.
No, it seems you are more anti-amazon than anything else and as a result, you poo-poo this idea on purely speculative grounds.

This isn’t a zero sum game where money spent by Bezos is going to be taken from some other pool of money earmarked for making life better for everyone. Nor is this an exclusionary action where his choice to spend his money on space projects would prevent other people for doing what they think is best.


Compare Bezos building moon landers with another billionaire, Bill Gates, using his money to tackle poverty and education. It’s not a zero sum game, but looked at that way it you can see there is a difference in how their spending benefits humanity. If creating jobs is all that matters then sure, Bezos going to the moon will employ a lot of people. But he could also give his current employees raises and the money would go back into the economy and help those workers afford to buy houses and new cars. He could start a solar power business, creating jobs and helping the environment. But going to the moon to build colonies and mine resources? Please forgive me if I look at that as part robber baron, part egomaniac.


That has zero to do with the space project and only serves to illustrate a bias in your position.

Love it! Pointing out facts of where the man’s money came from only points out bias in my opinion. Of course my opinion has a bias that’s shaped by facts! How does yours not? Does a bias somehow discount someone’s point? Also, I’d say it has plenty to do with the space project, especially if he has any of his personal wealth tied up in the project.

And I love how you completely discount the main thrust of my point, which was to completely skewer yours:

You point to a study that was based on public investment in a project as your main argument for it, whereas this is shaping up to be a private one. My opinion is based on facts, yours isn’t. It’s based on feels.


There does not exist a nation which was not created by theft and violence. Pointing to the origin of wealth isn’t a valid measure as to the worthiness of a venture. It is rather a distraction and not a logical argument.

My point was that space exploration has a positive effect on the economy and I used the 1973 study as a reference to that point. Here we are discussion a private venture spending private money. It’s not funded by taxpayers so any net economic gain is a direct benefit. Where do you suppose that money goes? Do you imagine it disappears in to outer space? No, the money is spent on people and manufacturing. Those people then spend that money, etc. To suppose there will no economic benefit to this money being spent instead of sitting in stocks and investments defies credibility.


yes, he runs a for profit company, so his goal is going to be to turn a profit, and if something beneficially to humanity comes out of that, good, if something bad does, oh well, he made his…

The thing I don’t get about everyone whose really excited about the privatization of space exploration, is did they ever read like any science fiction books or watch any films with such? Because it tends to be part of dystopian narratives for a reason. This isn’t to say that state run programs can’t be problematic, but the direction that I think makes the most sense is the global approach that draws on expertise all over the world where the benefits (what we learn in space) are equally shared among humanity, rather than being part of some bizarre competition or profit-driven motive. Otherwise, we really shouldn’t be going out into space.


The things you mention may be a reason for research and science in general, but they are not a reason for going to the moon specifically.


Quite right. The goal of the mission is a secondary concern to me. Obviously I’m very pro space exploration and investment.

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Afraid it’ll end up more like this.