Buttigieg Cheers Space Flight, Says He Would Go ‘In The Blink Of An Eye’ | New policies
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Former mayor, former presidential candidate, transport secretary – future space traveler?
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he was excited to see Jeff Bezos take off into space on Tuesday, describing space travel as a clear trend for the future. It’s a trip he would love to take on his own, although he doesn’t think it will happen in the foreseeable future.
“I’d be up in the blink of an eye. I think it’s so exciting, ”Buttigieg, 39, told the Economic Club of Washington DC. , “I don’t think the plane ticket or the plane ticket, whatever you call it, is going to be in my budget anytime soon.”
“I am certainly watching this and others with great interest.”
Amazon founder Bezos made the trip on the first flight of his rocket company Blue Origin, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to pilot his own spacecraft. Bezos staged a multi-million dollar auction for a seat on the flight.
Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 bookings for space flights at $ 250,000 each after its founder Richard Branson was the first to take off earlier this month in the race for space tourism dollars.
Even with his personal enthusiasm, Buttigieg said on Tuesday that the federal government will face challenges in the coming years to ensure the safety of space passengers and the general public, a task that falls to the Office of Commercial Space Transportation of his department.
“I think there will be a lot more where this is coming from,” he said. “Everyone understands that it will be some time before we reach the level of commercial air transport where you should have a expectation of 100% safety on board. But whatever risks these first travelers decide to take, we need to make sure there is no risk to people on the ground and in the airspace.
“It’s very exciting, but one of the many things we’re going to be going through in the 2020s, because we weren’t just designed for a lot of private space travel,” Buttigieg said.
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