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Yahoo Finance 22 July, 2021 - 12:13pm 5 views

Where is Blue Origin?

If all goes to plan, the company's New Shepard rocket and capsule will take off for an 11-minute journey, launching and landing outside Van Horn, Texas at Blue Origin facilities, dubbed Launch Site One. Space.comBlue Origin to launch its 1st astronaut flight with Jeff Bezos and crew of 3 today

Did Richard Branson go to space?

This has been a big month for billionaires in space. On July 11, Richard Branson flew aboard his Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spacecraft 80 km (50 mi) up to suborbital altitude, returned safely to Earth, and earned his astronaut wings in the process. TIMEForget the Bezos and Branson Spaceflights. The Real Deal Happens This Fall

How much was the Blue Origin launch?

The price was originally $200,000 and later raised to $250,000, but Virgin Galactic stopped sales in 2014 after a crash of its first space plane during a test flight. Virgin Galactic officials say they will resume sales later this year, and the price will likely be higher than $250,000. The New York TimesHow Much Does It Cost to Fly on Blue Origin's New Shepard?

Why is Jeff Bezos wearing a cowboy hat?

“It's utilized as a symbol of individualism.” Bezos' particular hat, says Reynolds, is reminiscent of the one Robert Duvall wore as rancher Augustus “Gus” McCrae in the miniseries of Larry McMurtry's novel “Lonesome Dove.” The top of the hat is pinched with a downward slope, the “Gus crease.” San Francisco ChronicleDid Jeff Bezos just ruin cowboy hats for everyone?

The new principles appear to be a farewell gift from Bezos to the company he founded, and to everyone who reads and follows them, as every leader should. Here they are.

"Leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, higher performing, more diverse, and more just work environment," this principle begins. It goes on to talk about how leaders can better empower employees and concludes: "Leaders have a vision for and commitment to their employees' personal success, whether that be at Amazon or elsewhere."

In Bezos's shareholder letter, he discussed the vote earlier this year to unionize Amazon's warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. Employees there voted down the union by a large margin. But, Bezos wrote, "Despite what we've accomplished, it's clear to me that we need a better vision for our employees' success." He went on to note that Amazon's goal had always been to be the Earth's most customer-centric company. That goal still stands, he wrote, but he was adding a second one. "We are going to be the Earth's best employer and the Earth's safest place to work."

Smart employers everywhere will follow his lead. Companies like to say that "our people are our greatest asset." It's become one of those corporate clichés right up there with "safety is our top priority." Most of the time, this is nonsense. Companies earn the most by maximizing shareholder value, which means cutting costs where possible, and for most, their employees are by far their biggest cost.

But "strive to be the Earth's best employer" is a very different statement from "our people are our greatest asset." It's aspirational, something that demands continuous work to improve. And it's a very good idea in a time when competition for talent is fiercer than it's ever been.

"We started in a garage, but we're not there anymore," this principle says. "Our local communities, planet, and future generations need us to be better every day." And, this principle concludes, "Leaders create more than they consume and always leave things better than how they found them." 

I added those italics because that phrase is an amendment to what Bezos wrote in his final shareholder's letter. In the letter, he said this: "If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with." Creating more than you consume and creating value for everyone you interact with is a very different idea from leaving things better than you found them. You could create value for your customers, partners, and employees while mistreating the environment and widening your carbon footprint. That's how untold numbers of companies large and small operate today. But it is most definitely not leaving things better than you found them.

Bezos has already made a very public commitment to combating climate change. In the shareholder letter, he wrote about the Climate Pledge, launched in 2019, which 110 other companies have signed, and about Amazon's goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. He noted that Amazon is the world's largest buyer of renewable energy. 

He also argued that taking steps to fight climate change would be good for the economy and would lead to a more prosperous future, as well as a healthier one for both people and the planet. But, he added, it wouldn't be easy. "The coming decade will be decisive," he wrote. "The economy in 2030 will need to be vastly different from what it is today, and Amazon plans to be at the heart of the change."

You don't need to be a behemoth the size of Amazon, or even a large company at all, to follow this principle. Every company, and every leader should. Creating value for customers and employees is how you achieve success in the short term. Leaving things better than you found them is how you create a legacy.

Here are the two new principles in full. You can find the entire list here.

Read full article at Yahoo Finance

Jon Stewart mocks Jeff Bezos' space journey with video poking fun at the shape of his rocket

Daily Mail 22 July, 2021 - 07:02pm

By Adam Manno For Dailymail.Com

The men of the 'billionaire space race' duke it out in space aboard rockets shaped like their penises in an outrageous promo for Jon Stewart's upcoming Apple TV show.

The parody trailer, which pokes fun at the tycoons vying for a slice of the future space tourism pie, stars Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander as Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos.

'I'm going to ride a rocket into space and it's going to look just like my d**k,' the fake Bezos proclaims at a press conference. 

Stewart is not the only one who noticed the peculiar shape of Bezos' rocket, with people taking to social media to comment.

The real Bezos completed a 10-minute journey to the edge of the Earth Tuesday morning aboard a rocket from his company.

Seinfeld's Jason Alexander plays Amazon's Jeff Bezos in a promo for Jon Stewart's new show

Sir Richard Branson is played by a mop. 'Technically, I got here first,' he tells Bezos

The 3-minute video pokes fun at the shape of Bezos' rocket and mushroom-shaped capsule

The space race billionaires duke it out aboard ships shaped like their respective body parts

Bezos says the space venture was funded by him selling $1 billion in Amazon stock each year, though he's been slammed by the public and politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for not paying his fair share in taxes.

In the video, Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock alum Tracy Morgan is credited as 'diverse friend who would never actually hang out with Jeff Bezos in real life.'

'We've been there before, many times,' Morgan warns.

'Do you know in 1961 we sent a chimpanzee into space?'

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket, New Shepard, has attracted comments based on its shape

The rocket features a mushroom-shaped capsule housing the 'biggest windows' ever in space

'But not in a d**k that looks like my d**k!' the fake Bezos yells. 

Not one to be left out, Elon Musk, portrayed by Adam Pally, asks an engineer to 'get the curve to go midway up the shaft' of his own 'space d***.' 

Sir Richard Branson, portrayed by a mop, follows Bezos by saying, 'I too will be riding my big old d*** into space.'

The real Virgin Group mogul completed his hour-long journey to space on July 11, beating Bezos in the space race.

Sir Richard Branson completed his journey to space on July 11, nine days before Bezos

'Technically, I got here first,' Branson quips.  

The New Shepard ship houses a mushroom-shaped capsule at the top featuring the biggest windows flown into space. 

'Not short enough, not wide enough, not enough!' the fake Bezos complains in the parody trailer. 

'The shape of bezos' rocket WILL NEVER STOP BEING HILARIOUS,' tweeted a user @mdrfl. 

'The shape of this Bezos rocket is fitting for this pissing contest between him & Branson,' @mojomissy commented. 

People took to Twitter to comment on the capsule above Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket

 Sen. Sanders aired his grievances with the men of the 'billionaire space race' in tweet after Bezos' launch.

 'Am I supposed to be impressed that a billionaire went to space while he's paid zero in federal income taxes some years and the workers at his company struggle to afford their medical bills, rent, and food for their kids?' he asked.

'Nope. It's time to invest in working people here on Earth.'

Adam Pally, playing SpaceX founder Elon Musk, has very specific instructions for his rocket

Mark Zuckerberg, played by a cat, meets the other billionaires in space aboard a Facebook-branded blue penis rocket.

The men engage in a laser fight as the video cuts to mock reviews.

'Wasteful,' says The Economist. 'Stay there, please,' says 'Jeff Bezos' ex wife, who is all of us.'

The 3-minute video was reposted to Stewart's Twitter account after being inexplicably deleted on Tuesday, with Stewart apologizing for the 'aborted launch.'

The mock trailer appears to be a promo for the former Daily Show host's upcoming current affairs show on Apple TV+, slated to begin streaming in September. 

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Scarsdale's Mark Bezos Completes Successful Flight to Space

Scarsdale10583.com 22 July, 2021 - 07:02pm

Last updateThu, 22 Jul 2021 2pm

Mark, who is a volunteer firefighter in Scarsdale, was joined by his family in the west Texas dessert for the take off and landing.

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Opinion | The Case for More Billionaires in Space

POLITICO 21 July, 2021 - 07:43pm

There may be all sorts of legitimate grounds for criticizing billionaires, but attaining suborbital flight under their own power doesn’t seem one of them.

Opinion by RICH LOWRY

Rarely has stunning human achievement been greeted with as much churlishness as when Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos managed to fly or launch themselves into space.

There may be all sorts of legitimate grounds for criticizing billionaires, but attaining suborbital flight under their own power doesn’t seem one of them.

Yet Branson and Bezos were mocked and criticized for not paying enough taxes, for being wasteful, for ignoring problems here on Earth, for engaging in a grotesque spectacle to boost their own egos, among other alleged offenses.

Even by the standards of our juvenile and mean-spirited Twitter-driven public discourse, all of this is exceptionally stupid. It speaks of a contempt for human endeavor as such, and a casual disregard for a new model of space exploration that holds enormous promise for the United States.

First of all, it’s not unusual for entrepreneurial pioneers to be obsessively consumed by the development of a new technology, and to want to partake of the glory of its rollout.

One can only imagine what would have been said about prior instances of this phenomenon if today’s standards applied.

Couldn’t Samuel Morse have been less of a showboat about it when he sent his famous message on the new telegraph line between Washington and Baltimore, “What hath God wrought?”

Wasn’t it incredibly selfish of Henry Ford to build racing cars early in his career, when winning automobile races does nothing to improve the overall human condition?

Why did the Wright brothers waste their time flying a plane at Kitty Hawk, when they could have focused on the abuses in the turn-of-the-century meatpacking industry instead?

Another space entrepreneur, Elon Musk, said none too modestly earlier this year that he wants to boost multiplanetary life and extend consciousness to the stars.

Bernie Sanders’ reply was basically: Yeah, but what about the proletariat?

The Vermont senator tweeted, “Space travel is an exciting idea, but right now we need to focus on Earth and create a progressive tax system so that children don’t go hungry, people are not homeless and all Americans have healthcare.“

For better or worse, it’s not an either/or proposition. Nothing Musk is doing—you know, revolutionizing the auto and space industries, in between other endeavors—is keeping Sanders from, say, passing his $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. In fact, Musk’s company SpaceX could be expropriated entirely and, at a valuation of roughly $75 billion, it’d pay for only 2 percent of the budget bill.

As for government space flight, it’s not as though NASA has been knocking anyone’s socks off. The space shuttle was a flawed program, but since the last flight in 2011, the agency hasn’t been able to send people into space on its own, which would seem a threshold test of the space agency of the world’s leading nation.

It has been hobbled by the political imperatives of a Congress that considers almost every government initiative a jobs program and by its flawed contracting model, as well as other inevitable government inefficiencies.

It is private actors who have stepped into the gap, especially Musk. He is now routinely launching satellites into orbit for NASA and the military. He has flown astronauts to the international space station. These aren’t vanity projects, but essential contributions to our existing publicly sanctioned space program.

Musk’s rockets are significantly cheaper than those of NASA. This is extraordinary. After the heroic period of innovation with the onset U.S.-Soviet space race after Sputnik, the cost of space launches stayed stubbornly flat after 1970, as if it was a law of nature that it couldn’t go lower. Then, along came Musk.

Lower cost is key, not just because it saves the taxpayers dollars. Lower cost means more satellite launches. More satellite launches mean cheaper satellites, because of efficiencies of scale in production. When the whole process is less expensive, it creates an incentive for more technological innovation—engineers don’t have to be as cautious anymore.

In true entrepreneurial fashion, Musk is working to make his own technology obsolete. He wants to supplant the partially reusable Falcon 9 rocket with the fully reusable Starship rocket. He’s not satisfied, in what was the old aerospace model, to keep taking the government’s money for his current technology until the government directs him to develop new technology.

The private space industry is going to open up vistas that can’t currently be predicted in an enormously consequential area. Consider just one dimension. The U.S. and China are in a new race for dominance in space, which has enormous national security implications. Satellites are necessary to modern life, and contemporary militaries can’t operate without them. In any major conflict that involves rival militaries targeting of satellites, the power that has a technological edge and the ability to launch new satellites quickly and easily will have an edge. If Musk, Bezos or someone else helps provide that edge, they are making a contribution to the national interest that can’t be matched by the average Senate committee chair, let alone the average caviling commentator on Twitter.

The typical critiques of capitalists over the past decade have been that they only make incomprehensibly complicated bets on the markets, or that they take over existing companies in pointless exercises in “vulture capitalism,” or that they outsource our jobs. But here are, in the case of Musk and Bezos, capitalists making very tangible products, with easily understandable—indeed, inspiring—goals, in conjunction with the U.S. government.

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