In the vision he laid out, Bezos went beyond the moon. Earth’s resources, he warned, are finite. Someday they will be depleted, and humankind will be forced to look for other homes. “Space is the only way to go,” he said. But he eschewed popular destinations such as Mars, which his colleague in the space biz, Elon Musk, dreams of tearing up like an old carpet to construct a new, Earth-like environment.
Bezos offered an argument made famous by Goldilocks. Other planets, he said, are too small. They’re too far. They don’t have enough gravity. Instead, human beings should build habitats in orbit around Earth, perpetually rotating to produce artificial gravity, a concept popularized in the 1970s by the American physicist Gerard O’Neill. These manufactured worlds, Bezos said, could each house 1 million people or more. Some habitats would be cities, others national parks. Some might even re-create famous places on Earth. All, according to the animations Bezos shared, would be idyllic, with perfect weather all year round.
“People are going to want to live here,” he said.
And what happens to Earth in this Interstellar-esque future? The planet would be zoned for residential and light industrial use.