Jeff Bezos may never have a better opportunity to rock a cowboy hat. Today, he strapped himself into a rocket and launched into space from West Texas. If that doesn’t justify donning a celebratory ten-gallon, we’re not sure what does. But regardless, the internet had no shortage of thoughts on the matter.
When Jeff Bezos emerged from Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket capsule after completing its descent, the cowboy hat he wore drew reactions ranging from support for the endeavor and a fair amount of fun at his expense.
Of course, the richest man in the world is a popular target for criticism. A net worth of more than $200 billion buys a whole lot of cowboy hats. And apparently, it buys you your own personal space program. In the post-fight press conference, Jeff Bezos took the opportunity to thank all of the customers and employees that made his space venture possible. Though, these comments drew plenty of criticism on their own.
“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this. So, seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart, very much. It’s very appreciated,” Bezos said, wearing his cowboy hat during the press conference following the flight.
One phrase that constantly popped up in the replies to the Bezos-centric posts is a well-known putdown among circles in Texas and beyond, “All hat, no cattle.” It’s accusing the Amazon founder of not walking the walk.
Jeff Bezos Defended the Exorbitant Costs of Sending Himself Into Space
For all the criticism he has received leading up to, and in the wake of, the Blue Origin flight, Jeff Bezos has defended his investment.
The most widely echoed criticisms regarding these private space endeavors are those of practicality. Many feel the money would be better spent addressing pressing issues faced daily on Earth. But interestingly, Jeff Bezos agreed in part.
He also feels that many of the problems can eventually be solved by the advancement of space exploration.
“We have to do both. If we can do that, we’ll be building a road to space for the next generations to do amazing things there. And those amazing things will solve problems here on Earth,” he told CNN.
The worthiness of investing in space travel has long been a hotly debated issue. But for the longest time, it was always in the context of government-funded programs, which draw on taxpayer money. The conversation has changed in recent years, however, as privately-funded companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX take financial responsibility.
Cowboy hats or not, the billionaires look to hold the future of human space travel in their hands.