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Captain Kirk has a good point about the space economy

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William Shatner looks out the window of Blue Origin’s New Shepard space capsule. Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of the satellite data firm Planet, took a ride to the edge of space with Captain Kirk this week on Blue Origin’s second crewed New Shepard launch.

But just ask Kirk—that is, actor William Shatner—why the trip actually mattered: The visibly emotional nonagenarian was shaken by the Overview Effect , the experience of seeing our tiny planet in the context of a vast universe.

“What I would love to communicate as much as possible is the jeopardy…the vulnerability…this air which is keeping us alive is thinner than your skin, it’s a sliver…this is life,” Shatner told Bezos , pointing at the ground after emerging from the space capsule, before looking up where he had been to say, “and that’s death.”

It’s a stark observation, and not an unusual one in the world of space business. Bezos himself sees the space industry as a way to protect the Earth from the unsavory byproducts of industrialization and to tap into solar energy , but his vision is decades away from realization, if not further. In the meantime, however, the space economy’s prospects are firmly focused back on […]

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