As Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos continues to expand his expertise on everything from same-day deliveries to purposefully crash landing a space capsule, the savvy entrepreneur now believes humanity must shift its heavy industry operations to space to preserve our planet. Speaking at this year’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Bezos firmly believes that to ensure a bright future for Earth, industries requiring loads of energy should simply find their way to outer space. His timeline for when this might occur? Over the next few hundred years. No big deal.
“Energy is limited here,” Bezos said during his talk with The Verge’s Walter Mossberg. “Within just a few hundred years, you will have to cover all of the land mass of Earth in solar cells. So what are you going to do? Well, what I think you’re going to do is you’re going to move out in space … all of our heavy industry will be moved off planet and Earth will be zoned residential and light industrial.”
Citing the fact that resources, including sources of energy, are more abundant in space, Bezos continued by saying that once a project is complete all that would need to happen would be to send the finished product back to Earth. Concerning his assertion about the superabundance of energy, he noted that while Earth only maintains the capability of utilizing sunlight for half the day, space can harness solar power every hour, every day. When pressed about whether or not he sees these industries being established on other planets, Bezos says he’d prefer them in orbit.
“I’d have it closer to Earth,” he added. “The problem with other planets [is] the transit time between Earth and Mars is long, and to speed it up requires unreasonable amounts of energy.”
Though he prefers to have heavy industries act as orbiting entities, Bezos did say that establishing them on other planets is likely to occur down the road. Never underestimating humanity’s desire to get to Mars because it’s “cool,” he noted that transferring goods and products between the red planet and ours just isn’t feasible.
We know what you’re thinking, traveling back and forth to Mars is deemed unfeasible but setting up production-oriented heavy industries in outer space is? It’s worth keeping in mind Bezos mentioned this happening over the next few hundred years, so it may not be entirely out of the question. Considering the dramatic level of innovation the world has seen over the past 20 years, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Bezos’ vision come to fruition much sooner than his prediction.
- Power plants on other planets: How we’ll generate electricity on Mars
- Artificial atmospheres: How we’ll build a base with breathable air on Mars
- Harvesting hydration: How future settlers will create and collect water on Mars
- Castles made of sand: How we’ll make habitats with Martian soil
- NASA’s Odyssey orbiter celebrates 20 years of mapping Mars