On My Mind

Billionaire space race: Ego trip or step forward for humanity?

There are some benefits for us: If we wait long enough, the price for such flights will come down to less astronomical levels

Watching Amazon founder and world's richest man Jeff Bezos blast off into space last week on board his unmistakably phallic rocket, it sometimes felt like the billionaire was giving the world a massive middle finger.

At a time when the mere mortals back on Earth were contending with all manner of earthly problems - forest fires, unprecedented flooding and the Delta variant - here was a man blowing millions and millions of dollars on a 10-minute joyride.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 25, 2021, with the headline 'Billionaire space race: Ego trip or step forward for humanity?'. Subscribe