Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become increasingly vocal about the idea that humans will eventually live in “giant space colonies” — an idea that’s been widely mocked by critics who’ve pointed out that humans are doing a pretty bad job taking care of their first space habitat, the Earth.
Now, another outsize personality in the space research scene is roasting Bezos: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Makes no sense. In order to grow the colony, you’d have to transport vast amounts of mass from planets/moons/asteroids. Would be like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2019
On Thursday, Musk took to Twitter to opine that Bezos’ idea “makes no sense.” The gist of his critique is that space colonies — Bezos favors a design called an “O’Neill cylinder,” which rotates in order to produce artificial gravity — would require extraordinary quantities of materials.
In theory, the fixings for a giant space habitat could be dragged up the gravity well of a planet, like the Earth, but with today’s launch technology, that would be incredibly inefficient.
More likely is an idea Musk alluded to in his tweet: sourcing materials for a space colony from asteroids that have far less gravitational pull than planets — or even building a space station inside an asteroid.
READ MORE: Elon Musk mocks Jeff Bezos’ space colony vision in snarky tweet [Fox Business]
More on space habitats: The Benefits of Colonizing Space: Space Habitats and The O’Neill Cylinder