Amazon founder Jeff Bezos flew out to space and stayed in zero gravity for a few minutes last month. After landing back on Earth, he thanked all Amazon customers for funding it. Little did he know this gesture of gratitude would majorly backfire. Many Amazon customers are now saying that they are against funding the private space trips of a billionaire. Some said the way Bezos orchestrated the whole episode was a gross display of wealth that made them cancel their Prime subscription. Bezos' July 20 trip.
Jeff Bezos' space trip
According to an exclusive statement by BBC, Bezos became the first person in the world to charter a flight for himself in the space shuttle. After starting his day from a private residence in Washington, he traveled to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in a launch window between 1 and 4 pm. He entered the shuttle shortly after 4pm and experienced zero gravity for a few minutes. "I'm looking forward to the Starlink program," Bezos said, before answering the launch question, "Which is my plan to get these satellites into space and to build a global communications system," he said. "I'm going to send millions of Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit, and I want to do that as fast as possible." The CEO added that this is his "midnight project.
Why is this so controversial?
Bezos' supporters said that the billionaire's decision to fund this trip to space was not for profit. In a statement posted on Twitter on July 18, Amazon vice president for North America Dave Clark thanked all Amazon Prime customers for their support. "Hello, Dave here. Thanks for the very kind words today. I assure you we are working very hard to bring you the best and fastest selection and delivery options," Clark wrote. "Working hard to make your Prime experience even better," Clark added in a follow-up tweet. However, some customers think that Clark's social media post was insensitive. Some even went to the extent of questioning why it took Amazon more than 30 minutes to post Clark's tweet. The customer feedback left many upset and they threatened to cancel their Prime subscription.
The backlash after the trip
Here's a small excerpt from Jeff Bezos' tweet: "And that's a wrap on SpaceX's 17th resupply services mission to the @Space_Station. Thank you to all the @Space_Station crew members and science patients for their hard work. Another remarkable achievement for @NASA.
The cancellation of Prime membership
On July 20, Bezos, along with a group of rocket scientists, spent eight days and six hours in space. During the trip, he shared a photo of him dancing with his back to the Earth. He wrote: "Deep breath. And look around… "12 days ago, I asked you to join me on this journey. You did. In fact, you've given me more than I could have ever asked for. The knowledge and experiences we've gained will help us provide for you for years to come." After the announcement, many questioned how Bezos funded the trip and asked if he used Prime members' money. However, Bezos said that the amount of $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,000 crores) that he spent on the trip was entirely funded by Prime members. He wrote, "These last few days in space have been the highest of my life.
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