Thursday 14 October 2021 10:47 am

Prince William calls out billionaire space race

Prince William has called for billionaire entrepreneurs to focus on solving the climate crisis facing Earth instead of launching themselves into space.

During an interview with the BBC William made took a thinly veiled shot at tech entrepreneurs including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson who are competing to lead the commercial space travel sector.

“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.

The heir to the British throne’s comments come after both Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shot themselves into orbit onboard rockets they helped to fund to the tune of billions of dollars.

With the space race heating up, Bezos has since announced plans to sue NASA over its decision to a $2.9bn (£2.1bn) contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX which will see the company build a spacecraft to take astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 as part of the government’s Artemis programme.

Earlier this week William’s father Prince Charles also stated his support for environmental causes, telling the BBC that he sympathises with climate activist groups including Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.

“I totally understand the frustration. But it isn’t helpful, I don’t think, to do it in a way that alienates people,” the royal said. “The difficulty is, how do you direct that frustration in a way that is more constructive rather than destructive?”

Charles declined to comment on whether the UK government, which is due to host the UN’s COP26 summit later this month, was doing enough to combat climate change.

Read more: Space race: The ambitions, plans and delays of launching superpowers