When mankind is wiped out and the aliens from the end of A.I. Artificial Intelligence show up to poke at our robots and pick at our corpses, the billionaire space race is going to be held up (alongside NFTs, probably) as one of the dumbest goddamn things our species ever did. Three men with enough money between them to solve, oh, any problem they really feel like solving decided to use their money to build pointless rockets that fly close to space, sit there for a few minutes, and then fly back.
It’s all dumb. Insultingly, needlessly dumb. But at least we can count Tom Hanks on the right side of history on this one. Speaking with Jimmy Kimmel on his show earlier this week, Hanks said Bezos offered him a chance to ride up to space on his dumb rocket… but only if he would pay $28 million (“or something like that”). Imagine paying to be one of the first people to test-drive a rocket built by one of the richest people in the history of the world!
Jeff Bezos doesn’t need money! He specifically needs less money. He doesn’t need or deserve the amount of money he does have, and he has the nerve to ask Tom Hanks—a man who came out on the other side of COVID to make a movie about being friends with a robot—to give him more money. That’s on top of the fact that it would be an obvious marketing thing, so Hanks would also be paying for the privilege of being a living commercial for Jeff Bezos’ pointless ambitions.
William Shatner, however, evidently had no such issues. Last month, he became the oldest person to ever fly up into space courtesy of Bezos’ dumb rocket, and now we can probably assume that he paid for that as well. But hey, as long as people know that Jeff Bezos spent a lot of money on a rocket!