Recently Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and Blue Origin, was the recipient of the first annual Buzz Aldrin Innovation Award. The award was handed to the entrepreneur by the second man to walk on the moon himself at the annual Apollo 11 Gala held at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During his remarks, Bezos opened his mind about his vision for the settlement of the high frontier of space.

A trillion people living in the solar system

Bezos suggested that the solar system has enough resources and enough access to energy, primarily from the fusion reactor known as the Sun, that a population of a trillion people could be supported.

A trillion person population would mean “1,000 Einstein’s and 1,000 Mozarts” presumably for the betterment of humankind.

In any case, Bezos rejected the “plan B” vision of space settlements that had been advanced by his business rival, Elon Musk, which suggests that a place like Mars would be a good alternate planet if the one we happen to be living on becomes uninhabitable. Bezos would like to preserve the home world and colonize space. Indeed, since he envisions taking heavy industry off the planet, the two are complementary.

The key is reusable rockets

Bezos suggested that the key to making this vision a reality is making rockets reusable. The insight is not a new one. NASA had it when it was developing the space shuttle.

Bezos, along with a number of other private space visionaries, has taken up the cause. His New Shepard will, in due course, take paying customers to and from the edge of space in suborbital jaunts. The New Glenn will be a totally reusable orbital launch system and is due to enter service in 2020. Beyond that, the New Armstrong will be a reusable heavy lift launcher.

Bezos is also working on a concept called Blue Moon, which will consist of a family of reusable lunar landers. These will take cargo and eventually human beings to and from the lunar surface. Blue Origin stands ready to partner will NASA when the space agency gets the final go ahead to return Americans to the moon. People are already talking about a deep space COTS program that will, among other things, create commercial lunar landers.

The purpose of Amazon is to get people into space

Bezos stated that he is using the great wealth that he has amassed, thanks to upending the retail sales industry with Amazon, for good works such as financing Blue Origin. So, every time anyone orders something for Amazon, he or she is contributing to opening the frontier of space.