Following his first voyage to (technically, the edge of) space, Richard Branson stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night where he gushed about the flight, but also defended it from detractors who aren’t exactly thrilled with the notion of billionaires funding spaceship joyrides. As a geek himself, Colbert understands the scientific implications of Branson’s space mission, but that didn’t stop the late night host from pressing the mogul for his thoughts on the criticism he’s been receiving.
“I see a lot of value in people going to space, but there’s been a lot of pushback from people out there saying, ‘Why spend your money to go do that?'” Colbert said. “What would you say to those people who say that this is a misuse of resources?”
“I think they’re not fully educated to what space does for Earth,” Branson responded before explaining the benefits of the space trip. Via Mediaite:
“It’s connecting the billions of people who are not connected — on telephones, on other things,” he added, noting that placing satellites in space allows people to monitor food distribution, the degradation of rainforests, and climate change.”
Two of Branson’s critics are Seth Meyer and Amy Poehler who roasted the Virgin mogul over on Late Night shortly after his interview with Colbert. Granted, the comedians had words for both Branson and Bezo launching a space race while “we have sh*t to do down here,” Meyers really went to town on Branson’s “space” flight.
“You didn’t go to outer space! You just went pretty high for a plane!” Meyers joked. “You went to outer sky! I mean, really!?! You’re the astronaut equivalent of driving by your ex’s house to see if the lights were on.”