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Jeff Bezos explains how going to the moon is harder now than it was for JFK in 1962 (1072 hits)

Back in 1962, President John F. Kennedy said he chose to have Americans go to the moon not because it was easy, but because it was hard. Today, billionaire Jeff Bezos said it’s still hard — and in some ways, it’s even harder than it was in the ’60s.

Bezos, the world’s richest person by virtue of his status as the founder of Amazon and the Blue Origin space venture, laid out his argument during a discussion with the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Today’s “JFK Library Space Summit” was a daylong affair that drew luminaries ranging from Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

JFK’s famous Rice University speech came up when Bezos reflected on how difficult it is to get off Earth and travel to other worlds. “It’s almost like God set this problem up as achievable, but just barely,” he said.

The technical difficulties were huge when JFK pledged to send astronauts to the moon and bring them back safely by the end of the 1960s: Some of the technologies required to do so didn’t even exist at the time. Nevertheless, the job was done on the promised timetable.

Today, many of those technical difficulties have been sorted out. But challenges remain. Some of those challenges have to do with the time frame required for exploration and settlement beyond Earth orbit. For instance, Bezos founded Blue Origin nearly 20 years ago, but has yet to put a person in space or a payload in orbit.

“We are working on deep infrastructure,” Bezos said, “and so deep infrastructure takes a long time to build, and the pipeline is really long.” In contrast to, say, making a movie or founding a startup, “the kinds of things we’re working on have 15-, 20-year kinds of time frames, and that’s very, very challenging,” he explained.

“This is hard. And it’s supposed to be hard,” he said. Then he turned toward Kennedy with a smile and said, “I don’t know, I heard somewhere that we do these things because they’re hard.”

More: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/jeff-bezos-explains-going-moon-harder-now-jfk/?utm_source=GeekWire+Newsletters&utm_campaign=6127801181-weekly-digest-email&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4e93fc7dfd-6127801181-234978429&mc_cid=6127801181&mc_eid=ad42077e4d

BY ALAN BOYLE
Posted By: Elly Moss
Monday, June 24th 2019 at 9:34AM
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