OCTOBER 14, 2021
Prince William said billionaires should stop sending people into space and focus on solving worldly problems.
The Duke of Cambridge shared his opinions on the state of the space race and how he feels it is taking attention away from saving the planet during an interview with the BBC’s podcast Newscast on Thursday.
“That really is quite crucial,” the 39-year-old said. “We need to be focusing on this world rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”
He warned of a “rise in climate anxiety” among young people whose “futures are basically threatened” by the environmental situation, according to NBC.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,” William said.
“There are plenty of technological solutions we can celebrate,” he added. “But it’s about thinking differently, it’s about thinking outside the box, it’s about doing stuff in a different way that makes us richer, healthier, and happier in the future.”
When asked if he had any interest in exploring space himself, William said he had none. He mentioned a time when he went up 65,000 feet on a plane and described the experience as “terrifying.”
William’s interview was published one day after William Shatner, 90, an actor best known for his role as Capt. Kirk on the original Star Trek, became the oldest person to travel to space. Shatner traveled on a rocket built by Blue Origin, a company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who himself made the trip in July.
Fellow billionaire Elon Musk has also entered the space race. His aerospace company, SpaceX, successfully launched four passengers into orbit in September. The crew spent three days circling Earth before making its way back and landing off the coast of Florida.
NASA announced on Oct. 6 the planned launch of a spacecraft targeted at an asteroid near Earth. The agency described the launch as part of a “planetary defense” test procedure.