Late on Tuesday night, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – the world’s richest man with a net worth off AU $280 billion – fucked off into space for a hot sec in his own rocket company’s very first manned spaceflight.
Yes, the rocket looked like a giant dildo. And yes, all the livestreams were filled with people hoping for the rocket to explode with Bezos inside it.
But even when an evil billionaire goes on a joyride in his own rocket, there’s still something undeniably compelling about watching human spaceflight. Try watching the footage without smiling, we dare you.
The trip included three crewmates, including Bezos’ little brother Mark Bezos.
The brothers were joined by 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk, who was barred from NASA’s spaceflight program in the 1960s for being a woman but who has now become the oldest person to enter space, as well a 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Daemen, the son of a fabulously wealthy hedge fund CEO.
The whole mission only lasted 11 minutes, and their time in space was a fraction of that, but the crew’s cheers and squeals were admittedly contagious.
“I love it, I love it,” said 82-year-old Funk while staring at the Earth through the crew capsule’s huge windows.
At one point Big Bezos (Jeff) threw a skittle across the capsule at 18-year-old Daemen, who caught it in his mouth.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 20, 2021
The whole thing was automated, too, so nobody onboard was actually controlling the rocket.
Once the crew capsule reached space, the booster rocket fell back down to Earth and landed safely on its own launch pad. The capsule followed in a parachute later on.
More flights are planned for this year, with tickets reportedly costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We’re going to build a road to space so our kids, and their kids, can build the future,” Bezos said after landing.
“This is not about escaping Earth … this is the only good planet in the solar system and we have to take care of it.”
He also had the audacity to thank his poorly-treated workers because, in his own words, “you guys paid for all this.” Yikes.
Of course, when the world’s richest man flies into space in a massive rocket-propelled dildo, there’s bound to be memes.
Lmao come on man pic.twitter.com/K1lWzX3KRk
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) July 20, 2021
— Andrew Joyce (@AndrewPaulJoyce) July 20, 2021
I am begging our dystopia to develop more subtle metaphors. pic.twitter.com/edFtTOqSFx
— Moira Donegan (@MoiraDonegan) July 20, 2021
However, some of the responses were a bit more serious.
Jeff Bezos could’ve given every one of the million Amazon warehouse employees $100K today & he would still be among the 10 wealthiest people in the world. $100K is >3x their average yearly salary. Instead he gave $100M each to ppl who are already rich as a PR stunt.
— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@BreeNewsome) July 20, 2021
Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this – with lower wages, union busting, a frenzied and inhumane workplace, and delivery drivers not having health insurance during a pandemic.
And Amazon customers are paying for it with Amazon abusing their market power to hurt small business. https://t.co/7qMgpe8u0M
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 20, 2021
It would be nice if Jeff Bezos used his hundreds of billions of dollars to, I dunno, solve world hunger or get us out of this pandemic.
But putting his heinous track record aside for a moment, there is something pretty special about watching humans whizz up into space in a rocket. And now there’s more to come.