Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, flexed his considerable wealth just over 20 years ago with the development of his aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight, Blue Origin. On Tuesday (July 20) from West Texas, Bezos and a small crew launched into suborbital space for roughly four minutes and the mission was successful as hoped.
With a net worth of $177 billion, Bezos’ privately funded space company keeps its records close to the vest but some reports say he’s invested as much as $5 billion of his money using his vast array of Amazon stock to pump in $1 billion annually to Blue Origin. The New Shepard vehicle housed Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Dutch teen Oliver Daemen.
There is a new type of Space Race going on, with Virgin Galatic founder Richard Branson taking to suborbital space on July 11 which was the first journey for an owner of such a company to embark upon. While Branson is aiming Virgin Galatic as a travel company for civilians who wish to float in zero gravity for a spell, Bezos has more ambitious aims of creating a Moon Lander and other high-end technology.
Today’s launch was widely celebrated and discussed by most news outlets and is currently dominating the timeline of almost every network. Naturally, that has inspired critics of the enormous costs and assumed frivolousness of Bezos and Branson using their vast wealth in this fashion instead of more practical matters. However, some believe space to be a profitable venture as a result of their efforts so comments are wide-ranging which should be expected.
We took a look on Twitter at the reactions to Jeff Bezos hitting space for a few minutes. Check out those tweets, many of which are kind of crude, below.