There is a lot going on at Amazon’s re:MARS (Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space) conference, currently going on in Las Vegas. One incident unexpectedly broke out when a protester interrupted CEO Jeff Bezos’ pre-planned fireside discussion.
While Bezos was being “interviewed” by Amazon’s director of forecasting Jenny Freshwater, animal rights activist Priya Sawhney of Direct Action Everywhere rushed to the stage. Sawhney was protesting unethical chicken farms, though it’s unclear why she chose Bezos in particular as her target for attention. It may have to do with Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, which Direct Action Everywhere has been known to target in the past for its slaughter practices.
The protester was then swiftly removed by security and arrested for trespassing the event space.
The incident didn’t seem to phase the CEO, who continued with “Where were we?” Aside from discussing Amazon’s future and its continued push for faster delivery and low cost products, Bezos also brought up the need for space exploration.
“The reason we need to go to space is to save the Earth,” he told the audience. “We are going to grow this civilization—and I’m talking about something that our grandchildren will work on—and their grandchildren. This isn’t something that this generation is able to accomplish. But we need to move heavy industry off Earth.”
This dystopian outlook comes as no surprise, given the ever-presence of Bezos’ less known company, Blue Origin. Somewhat of a SpaceX competitor, founded all the way back in 2000, the startup has been persistent in its extraterrestrial endeavors with the help of Bezos’ funding.
Unlike Elon Musk’s Mars obsession though, Blue Origin’s focus is all about reaching the close-by moon. This goal brought up a question of a crossover between his more successful company, with Freshwater asking if the dominating force of Amazon will eventually reach lunar grounds.
However, Bezos said he’s not sure Amazon’s infamous fulfillment centers will land on the moon anytime soon. “That’s a very, um, good question. I’ve never really contemplated that. We’ll start out delivering liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. It’s going to be a very small selection, albeit a very important one.”
For now, Amazon’s Earth customers have the e-commerce giant’s upcoming drone delivery service to look forward to.