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    Like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic: Elon Musk just dunked on Jeff Bezos vision to build floating space colonies

    Jeff Bezos revealed a vision for human settlements in space earlier this month that verged on science fiction. Fellow billionaire space-missionary Elon Musk said Bezos’ plans are exactly that.

    At a press conference in Washington earlier this month, Bezos presented plans from his spaceflight company Blue Origin, including his ambition to establish a “sustained human presence” on the moon.

    Part of Bezos’ space colonization dreams also involve “O’Neill colonies,” enormous spinning cylinders taken from Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill, who came up with the concept in 1976. Bezos said his aim is to house a trillion people in the colonies, which would replicate gravity.

    A fanciful on-screen illustration of an O’Neill space colony, inside of which Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos believes humans may one day live and work.
    Dave Mosher/Business Insider

    When asked by a Twitter user on Wednesday what he thought about O’Neill colonies proposed by Bezos, Musk was less than enthusiastic.

    Read more: Jeff Bezos wants floating colonies in space with weather like Maui all year long — here’s what he thinks they’ll look like

    “Makes no sense. In order to grow the colony, you’d have to transport vast amounts of mass from planets/moons/asteroids. Would be like trying to build the USA in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” he replied.

    This isn’t the first time Bezos and Musk have sparred over their dual ambitions to colonise space. Musk tweeted about Bezos’ Blue Origin presentation at the time, mocking the moon lander’s name.

    “Putting the word ‘Blue’ on a ball is questionable branding,” Musk tweeted. Bezos also reportedly ribbed Musk during his presentation, pointing out the impracticalities of settling on Mars, Musk’s stated destination for his own spaceflight company, SpaceX.

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