Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Lousy new space race heats up as Richard Branson plans to beat fellow rich jerk Jeff Bezos to the stars

The London-born magnate will blast off just over a week before the Amazon founder

Virgins and Amazonians fight for space supremacy.
Virgins and Amazonians fight for space supremacy.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images), Eric Baradat (Getty Images)

Where global powers once competed against one another to win the 20th century’s space race, the new, somehow shittier modern version of Cold War brinksmanship is just a bunch of billionaires trying to take a vanity flight to the stars before one of the other ones beats them to it. Now, in a move that would be admirably petty and assholish if he wasn’t an obscenely rich wealth-hoarder, too, Virgin’s Richard Branson has jumped ahead of his closest competition by announcing his plan to fly to space just nine days before Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is set to leave.

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After Bezos proudly told the world that he would be departing Earth in a dick-shaped rocket on July 20th, Branson decided to rain on his parade by saying last night that he’d be leaving the planet first, on July 11th. Like Bezos, Branson even made his own little promo video where he’s shown walking out in a blue spacesuit, telling us that, “Mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars” and explaining that “space does belong to us all”—a weirdly egalitarian tone for a fantastically well-off private space flight magnate to strike.

Given that they both seem to have plenty of interests in common (the cosmos; supervillain hairstyles; dodging taxes), we would think Bezos and Branson could come together to share a flight rather than squabble over who gets the honor of getting there first. Then again, neither of them could brag about their accomplishment that way. And, even worse, splitting the environmental cost of the ride might damage their reputations as self-centered evil dorks who like doing shit like taking useless flights to space while Earth burns behind them.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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