New York Magazine
Space Travel Will Get Banal— And Depressing
» BLUE MOON IS SCHEDULED to launch in 2024. If this mission is successful, its cost to each of us could be profound. What’s it going to feel like for most of us, the non-billionaires, to look up at the moon at night and know that one of Bezos’s toys is strutting around on the surface? The answer might be something similar to what Gil Scott-Heron expressed in his response to Apollo 11: “Whitey on the Moon.” The space class doesn’t have to be practical. Their dreams aren’t tethered to mere terrestrial concerns like health care or student loans; they can afford to throw money away on rockets that blow up and spin out. Meanwhile, the common pleasure of the night sky might come to feel less like an opening to the infinite than a membrane of modern robber-baron excess—something we are trapped under, rather than living within; less ours to admire than theirs to control.