Unsurprisingly, private space trips are using unfathomable amounts of resources

As the billionaire space race heats up among Branson, Musk and Bezos, many are wondering just how much damage the rich kids’ whizzing contest is doing to the environment. As it turns out, private space trips are leaving behind massive carbon footprints.

The carbon footprint of private space trips is insane

The 2022 World Inequality Report revealed that the private space industry is chewing through resources. In the report, it was revealed that most a single rocket launch emits more carbon dioxide than the majority of the world will use in their lifetime.

The report reveals “the most conspicuous illustration of extreme pollution associated with wealth inequality in recent years is the development of space travel”. In just 11 minutes, a single rocket launch spews out 75 tonnes of carbon per passenger.

In comparison,  “one billion individuals emit less than one tonne per person per year. Over their lifetime, this group of one billion individuals does not emit more than 75 tonnes of carbon per person.”

While the WIR didn't note any specific private space trips, it's not hard to infer which launch they were using as an example. Jeff Bezos’ trip into space earlier this year was almost exactly 11-minutes long, just like in the report. Additionally, that trip was repeated for William Shatner, who became the oldest man in space.

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They'll keep happening

Despite being called out, the private space trips of billionaires will continue. Bezos and Branson aren't finished “joyriding to space”, and they're also not the last members of the mega-rich to go to the stars.

For example, Japanese billionare Yusaku Maezawa is currently on a Branson-planned trip to the International Space Station. Maezawa will be on the ISS for a total of 12 days. The trip is seemingly a backup after plans to go to The Moon with a girlfriend fell through as he was unable to find a girlfriend.

Of course, the excess on the rich will have an effect on everyday people. As worldwide goals aim to become carbon neutral to reduce the rise of climate change, privatised space launches are actively fighting against that target.

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