“Guess what the best planet is in this solar system?” asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at a recent media event on his Blue Origin space program.
“It’s easy to know the answer to that question,” he continued. “We’ve sent robotic probes like this one to all of the planets in our solar system. Now, some of them have been fly-bys, but we’ve examined them all. Earth is the best planet. It is not close. This one is really good.”
Bezos then went on to discuss his plan to ship humans off of the best planet in the solar system and send them to live in floating cylinders in space.
Bezos claimed that the growing human population and growing energy consumption will force us to make a choice between “stasis and rationing” and “dynamism and growth”, and claimed that the latter item in his dichotomy is possible only by moving humans off the planet.
“If we’re out in the solar system, we can have a trillion humans in the solar system, which means we’d have a thousand Mozarts and a thousand Einsteins,” Bezos said.
“This would be an incredible civilization. What would this future look like? Where would a trillion humans live? Well it’s very interesting, someone named Gerry O’Neill, a physics professor, looked at this question very carefully and he asked a very precise question that nobody had ever asked before, and it was, ‘Is a planetary surface the best place for humans to expand into the solar system?’ And he and his students set to work on answering that question, and they came to a very surprising — for them — counterintuitive answer: No.”
Bezos went on to describe how the limited surface areas, distance, and gravitational forces of the other planets in our solar system make settling on those planets impractical and cost-prohibitive, while constructing giant space cylinders closer to Earth which can hold a million people is far more practical. These cylinders would spin to replicate Earth’s gravitational pull with centrifugal force.