Today Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, strapped himself into a capsule at the top of one of his dick-shaped rockets and blasted himself into space. Technically. Really though… did he? I don’t think so. Motherfucker was only up there for like 3 minutes, barely.
You can read fawning coverage of Bezos’s Big Day in basically every media outlet, but the details are this: Bezos rode one of his Blue Origin rockets to just above what’s known as the Kármán line, the technical border of what we consider “space”. He was up there for approximately 3 minutes and then fell back down to Earth because he didn’t go high enough to even establish a stable orbit. In my opinion that shit doesn’t count!
Look at the stats on Sputnik 2, the Soviet space mission that famously sent a very brave dog named Laika to space (and then promptly killed her from asphyxiation because they fucked something up). The Kármán line is set at 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles. Sputnik 2 went 211 kilometers up! Before his flight, Bezos got into a ludicrous and basically literal dick-measuring contest with Richard Branson, who has some kind of plane thing that goes really high that he pretends is a spaceship, saying that Branson’s plane didn’t count because it didn’t go high enough. Jeff, buddy, you couldn’t even beat a dog astronaut that flew almost 64 years ago. All of you need to simmer down a little here.
Laika, for instance, orbited Earth four full times before dying of asphyxiation because the air conditioning malfunctioned. Bezos I bet just sat there in his climate cooled little pod with a teenager and another rich dude (plus one actual astronaut, Wally Funk), was weightless for a few minutes, and then floated back down. Doesn’t count! Everything about this mission was carefully designed to sneak by on a technicality — to just get Bezos barely above the line so he said he did it. It’s an ego thing, it accomplishes nothing, and no one is better off for it. Who cares! And don’t even get me started on the fucking cowboy hat.
The elephant in the room of course is that Elon Musk’s space company actually goes to real space and does real space shit, and has successfully bridged the gap between “disgusting vanity project” and “disgusting privatization of what was once a nationalized industry.” Musk himself hasn’t gone up in one of his crew-capable rockets but it’s only a matter of time until he does so and finds some way to be insufferable about it online. My only wish is that all of them end up like Laika (successfully orbiting the Earth). Wouldn’t that be great for humankind.