Why is Bezos so hated for helping to send ordinary people into space?


Compared with Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and other competitors, blue origin and its founder Bezos seem to have received more criticism.
Blue origin was founded in 2000. It had always focused on the development of space technology. It began to receive more attention after completing its first manned space flight in July.
The release of misleading information maps, unwillingness to admit the failure of the bid and Bezos’s improper remarks made blue origin attract the anger of many people.
Tencent technology news on August 26, recently, the space companies supported by billionaires have become very active, constantly launching rockets or spacecraft into space. For example, blue origin and Virgin Galactic successfully completed the first manned suborbital flight, SpaceX won the human landing system (HLS) contract for NASA to build the lunar lander, and is ready to perform the first pure commercial space mission.
However, in the booming space field, one company and its founder are particularly hated. It is blue origin and its founder Jeff Bezos. Recent competition and many controversies (including criticism of SpaceX’s misleading information chart) have made many people who pay attention to the aerospace industry angry about blue origin and Bezos.
Figure 1: after participating in the first manned flight of blue origin, Bezos showed off her aviation glasses, which once belonged to Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic alone
Since Bezos founded the company in 2000, blue origin and its engineers and employees have always made progress in many space technologies focused by the company, including the new Shepard spacecraft that sent four passengers into space and returned in July this year, and the upcoming new Glenn orbiter.
The latest launch of blue origin sent Bezos and his brother Mark, 18-year-old Dutch student Oliver Damen and female pilot Wally funk into suborbital space, which is a major turning point for the company. This is the company’s first manned space trip. It is an important milestone and marks a big step towards the future. It will be able to launch paid customers regularly, including space tourists.
But this milestone, which puts the origin of blue in the spotlight, seems to be a turning point in how the public views Bezos and its company. Of course, the flight in July was not the first time that blue origin attracted media attention. But the fact is that this is its first manned launch (Bezos himself is among them), and it is only a week later than the launch of Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, which makes people know more about the company.
Errors attract attention
In an interview, Christian Davenport, a science and technology reporter and author of the space barons, said: “these flights and even the entire aviation industry have been opposed by a lot. Although these entrepreneurs began to bring ordinary citizens into space, so far, passengers are basically very rich, which raises the question of who will ultimately benefit. ”
Before and after these suborbital flights, public comments on social media, even on traditional media and radio news networks, tend to discuss whether it is a positive development for billionaires to enter space on Rockets made by companies they support.
Writer and space information reporter Eric Berger said: “last month, Bezos received a lot of severe criticism, not only because he was the richest man in the world, but also because his first real open space flight was just to satisfy his vanity. This highlights that commercial space has been criticized as “rich children and their toys.”
Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts who ran for president in 2020, also publicly criticized Bezos. On August 18, Warren wrote on Twitter: “Bezos can take a spaceship to space while he and other billionaires play with the system, so they hardly have to pay taxes.”
Figure 2: Bezos opens champagne to celebrate the success of his first space flight
Although Branson, a billionaire, has also realized sub orbital travel with the help of his company in recent months, he is not troubled by negative comments like Bezos. In addition to their space career, Bezos and other billionaire founders, such as Branson and Elon Musk of SpaceX, have legendary careers and history, which have been widely supported by the public. However, Bezos’s recent sustained behavior and the competitive information map released by blue origin have triggered criticism of the company.
Information map public relations strategy is too poor
Before the blue origin manned suborbital flight, the company released the first information charts, that is, in the most polite terms, these charts can be labeled “competition”.
Blue origin released this information map on twitter on July 9 to compare the differences between the Virgin Galactic suborbital SpaceShipTwo and the blue origin new Shepard. This information map was released two days before Virgin Galactic’s manned suborbital flight on July 11.
From the beginning, the new Shepard spacecraft was designed to fly over the so-called K á RM á N line. For 96% of the world’s population, space begins with the internationally recognized Carmen line, which is 100 kilometers from the earth’s surface.
Among the many advantages of blue origin listed in the information map, it points out the fact that the flight of blue origin will reach above the Carmen line, while the flight of virgin galaxy can only reach more than 50 miles (80 kilometers).
Figure 3: the information diagram of blue origin also points out the defects of SpaceX starship

Subsequently, blue origin released additional information maps for other space companies. For example, the company criticized SpaceX’s starship for being “too complex” and “high-risk” in carrying out lunar missions. Berger said: “Bezos’s public relations strategy of criticizing SpaceX’s information map seems clumsy!”
Lose HLS contract “playing rogue”
The information map depicting the SpaceX starship points to another major controversy over the origin of Bezos and blue. In April this year, NASA announced that SpaceX was selected as the sole contractor for its human landing system (HLS) contract. The contract is an important part of the agency’s Artemis return to the moon program to help build a lunar manned lander to bring astronauts to the lunar surface around 2024.
SpaceX will use starships to do this, beating the “national team” led by defense contractor dynetics and blue origin. NASA has previously said that it hopes to award more than one HLS contract so that Artemis can benefit from the competition. However, the agency official said after the contract was announced that considering the relatively low level of funds allocated by Congress for the HLS project, only one contract had to be awarded in the end.
Blue origin and dynetics did not accept NASA’s decision, but protested to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), but were rejected. In July this year, Bezos sent an open letter to NASA Director Bill Nelson, explaining why blue origin should win the HLS contract and suggesting that there were problems in the bidding process.
Figure 4: Bezos and the new Shepard rocket of blue origin company
Berger believes that Bezos “has been criticized by the aerospace industry for his stubborn protest against NASA’s award of the SpaceX lunar lander contract”. In addition to more and more comments on social media, Laura forczyk, the boss of aerospace consulting firm astralytic, said: “I don’t know whether the public has noticed the behavior of Bezos and blue origin, but the space community must have noticed that they give more negative reactions. This is seen as being too stingy, as if playing a rogue. ”
It is reported that the dispute over the HLS contract continues. Blue origin recently decided to file a lawsuit in the Federal Claims Court. NASA officials confirmed that the lawsuit had actually hindered the development of Artemis lunar lander. Because of the lawsuit, NASA voluntarily suspended its cooperation with SpaceX.
Berger said: “Bezos seems to have really deviated from the founding principle of blue origin. The public and many people in Congress are paying attention to Bezos and blue origin. They want to know why the rich man with a net worth of nearly $200 billion protested and sued NASA for money and asked them to provide funds for the construction of the lunar lander. If he thinks it’s important to build a highway to space, start building it! If what you build is really useful, then government contracts will eventually follow. ”
Bezos has an ungrounded attitude
Although blue origin has received considerable criticism for publishing misleading information maps and taking a number of actions in response to NASA’s HLS choices, its founder himself has always been the target of criticism. In addition to Bezos’ open letter, a number of actions taken by blue origin after losing the HLS contract, and the company’s controversial information map, Bezos added another controversial project on the day of suborbital flight.
After the short mission ended and returned to earth, Bezos and the other crew of the new Shepard gathered for a live press conference. During the meeting, Bezos still wore the cowboy hat he wore in space and answered only three questions before discussing the flight. But his words after the flight attracted the attention of many people: “I also want to thank every Amazon employee and customer. You paid for all this.”
Even leaving aside Bezos’s comments, putting him on space flight and the continuous complaints about the treatment of Amazon employees have also aroused doubts and concerns. Michigan congressman Andy Levin said the day before Bezos took off: “tomorrow, Bezos will fly by rocket for more than 10 minutes, and the shift workers in Amazon warehouse will stand for 10 hours. I am fighting for an economy that values the dignity of their work rather than the doubling of their wealth. ”
Berger also said that although the criticism of the founder of the billionaire space company is not limited to Bezos, the main difference between Bezos and others, such as musk and Branson, is that he largely ignores the attitude of the public and the media.
Berger added: “Musk often appears at press conferences or teleconferences and always interacts with people on twitter. Branson is quite approachable and quite grounded. In contrast, Bezos is more indifferent. He rarely tweets, and his instagram account is obviously carefully planned to reflect a certain image. This is not a person who takes seriously dealing with the space community in a meaningful way. ”
Is public image that important?
But is “contact with the space community” really a necessary condition for the success of a space company? Of course, the founder of a company does not have to be the most popular person to succeed. However, the above actions of Bezos and blue origin may potentially endanger the company’s future success.
Michael L ó PEZ Alegr í a, a former NASA astronaut and current Vice President of business development of axiom, said that although many companies have put satellites into orbit for a long time, “there are not many companies involved in manned space projects”. Every company must figure out how to make itself different. In addition to the differences in technology and experience, the way they shape their brand and communicate with the media and the public is also very important.

“I think there is a huge market for sub orbital space tourism, so as long as the new Shepard can fly safely and regularly, this business will be profitable,” Berger said
However, Davenport added that now blue origin “begins to bid more actively for government contracts. As it begins to help ordinary citizens fly in space, it will need to contact the public more effectively. The founders of these companies may say they don’t pay close attention to public opinion, but members of Congress will. And because Congress is responsible for overseeing federal spending, they may play a huge role in influencing the future business of these companies. ”
The next launch of the blue origin new Shepard will take place on August 26. The mission is called ns-17, but the spacecraft will not carry people( Tencent Technology (reviser / Jinlu)