Space: the final frontier. While our species is probably a long way out from being able to get our McDonald's drive-thru order screwed up on the moon, there's been a rekindling in recent years of interest in folks going into space, albeit with a different flavor than the U.S. moon landing on July 20, 1969. Back then, it was a race to beat other countries to the lonely rock to establish America as a world leader in technology, hope, and innovation.
What does RSS mean? The acronym closely associated with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launch.
Let's say you became the richest person in the world by completely revolutionizing the retail industry while owning about half of the internet and launch your own movie studio along with software millions upon millions of people utilize on a daily basis. Let's say you already had an affair with someone who owns a helicopter business. Where do you go from there?
Space, duh. While many criticized Bezos for his treatment of employees and not utilizing his growing wealth to solve problems like world hunger or making a phone that wasn't an epic flop, the founder of Amazon shrugged that off and went ahead with his Blue Origin project, which is "committed to building a road to space so our children can build the future."
Finding solutions for Earth's problems in outer space seems like a lofty goal, and a potentially dangerous one if all of your understanding of space travel, like mine, comes from Jason X, but Bezos seems extremely committed to making Blue Origin the rest of his life's work and a heck of a profitable business model, to boot.
That's because the New Shepard, which is a Reusable Space Ship (which is what RSS stands for) is currently selling tickets for the uber-wealthy to take joyrides into outer space. This could quite possibly be the greatest surprise date idea/dad joke of all time:
So what are we doing tonight?
I don't want to spoil it, but I promise it'll be out of this world.
I'll see myself out.
Bezos says that he's already nearly sold about $100 million worth of tickets for Blue Origin trips into space. "The demand is very, very high," the billionaire said after New Shepard's first successful launch.
While the businessman didn't disclose pricing for Blue Origin, Oliver Daeman's family paid $28 million for his seat on the shuttle at auction. Bezos states that at least two more launches will occur in 2021, and that "a very high rate" of future launches were planned. For comparison, Virgin Atlantic is charging anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000 per ticket for a sub-orbital launch.
"We really do want to practice with this vehicle, so we’re going to have to build more boosters ... to fly more frequently." So expect more memes about billionaires ruining the legacy of NASA for space tourism.