On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos, the planet’s richest man, reaffirmed his commitment to fighting climate change. “We have to build a road to space so that our children and their children can build the future,” he told MSNBC.
Mr. Bezos says space tourism is the first step towards getting people (and heavy industry) into space avoid energy crisis on the earth. His fellow billionaire space entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Elon Musk have also said their companies are the answer to climate change: Mr. Musk wants colonizing mars If we ruin the earth.
Critics argue that space tourism will increase emissions rather than save the planet. But the industry is still low on the list of pollutants.
The global space industry uses less than one percent of the propellant compared to the aviation industry. In addition, there is a small portion of the amount used for the rockets that will take Branson and Bezos into space, said Martin Ross, a scientist at the Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded research and development center. In recent studyRoss found that space tourism companies could undertake up to 10,000 sub-orbital flights per year before the effects of their emissions on the atmosphere begin to approach those of orbital rockets.
It is not yet properly understood how the increasing number of rocket launches will affect the planet. The space industry is the only direct source of emissions in the stratosphere above 20 km. The particles that rockets release can absorb sunlight or reflect sunlight, potentially changing the climate of the stratosphere or affecting the ozone layer.
“We know this is no longer a problem,” said Mr. Ross, “but we cannot predict how much up-and-down you can do before it becomes a problem.”
Besides whether space tourism will contribute to climate change, there are doubts over claims by space companies that they can help address it. Some say Mr. Bezos’s vision to colonize space Impossible, and Mr. Bezos himself”long distance problem.“Billionaires Going to Space Need” First consider climate disasters on Earth, argue the critics.
It is absolutely not fair to say that Mr Bezos has overlooked these problems. Although Amazon is a major pollutant, it says it aims to go carbon neutral by 2040, and Mr Bezos has pledged $10 billion of his personal wealth to address climate change. But some say there’s a big difference in their approach: Are the moons only for space?
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