Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos briefly blasted into space on Tuesday along with his brother Mark Bezos and two others aboard an approximately 10 minute flight.
During a press conference following his jaunt into space the Amazon founder expressed his thanks to Amazon employees and customers who he said “paid for all of this.”
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York pounced on Bezos’ comments.
“Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this – with lower wages, union busting, a frenzied and inhumane workplace, and delivery drivers not having health insurance during a pandemic. And Amazon customers are paying for it with Amazon abusing their market power to hurt small business,” the lawmaker tweeted.
Joining the 57-year-old billionaire business tycoon and his brother aboard the jaunt into space were 82-year-old Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen who are now respectively the oldest and youngest individuals ever to have ventured into space, according to Blue Origin.
The flight took place on the anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing and marked the company’s first flight with people aboard its New Shepherd rocket system.
“Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is our reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line – the internationally recognized boundary of space,” according the Blue Origin website.
Bezos said that the way to protect the earth “is slowly over decades to move all heavy industry, all polluting industry, out into space. That’s what we’re gonna do so we can keep this planet the gem that it is,” he said during an interview with BloombergTV’s Emily Chang.
“Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth,” the company’s website says. “In order to preserve Earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space. Blue is working on this today by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost and serve the needs of all civil, commercial and defense customers.”