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During a sit-down with Gayle King that aired on CBS This Morning Wednesday, the Amazon founder flatly denied that he and the Virgin Group founder were competing against one another.
Billionaire Jeffrey Bezos is insisting he is not in competition with Richard Branson, who also launched himself into space this month.
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“It’s not a competition,” he said, noting his belief that there will be many other companies that enter the space race. His Blue Origin and Branson’s Virgin Galactic both have plans to start launching ticket-holders into space in the future and Bezos doesn’t think they’ll be alone in catering to wealthy passengers’ interest in a space flight.
Related: Jeff Bezos Thanks Amazon Employees After Space Flight: “You guys paid for this”
“They compete against each other, but there can be many winners,” he said. King pointed out that from an outsider’s perspective, it looks like the two men are in competition, given that Branson announced his own flight after Bezos announced his, Branson then completed his before Bezos, and Bezos’ rocket ended up going higher.
The 57-year-old used his interview to discuss the perspective he got from looking at the planet from afar, musing, “I think people don’t understand it — or most people don’t.” That’s true: Fewer than 600 people have actually gone to space.
Bezos advocated for moving “all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of Earth” in the coming decades and operating it in space instead, saying, “When you get into space and you can see the Earth’s atmosphere, it’s so thin and fragile looking, so we do have to take care of this planet. And right now it’s just true that our civilization is — we pollute the planet.” Related: Jeff Bezos Makes History in Successful Space Flight