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Anatoliy Yunitskiy: « It's nice that Mr. Bezos took the time to read my letter»

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It's a new round of Internet discussion of the Open Letter, addressed by Skyway General Designer Anatoliy Yunitskiy to Jeff Bezos, an American entrepreneur, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin companies. The reason was Jeff Bezos' speech at the presentation of the Lunar module, in which he touched upon the topic of the near-Earth orbit colonization. In his speech, the American visionary voiced a number of ideas resembling the projects of the Belorussian inventor.

Several media resources issued their publications on this topic, trying to sort out the current situation, and among them, there are such ones asNational Interests», «Tekhnokult», «Imenno», «Information Portal of the Crimea» and others.

A few days ago, in Washington, there was conducted with much fanfare the presentation of module Blue Moon – multifunctional space module, designed to work on the Moon. The presentation was conducted by founder and owner of Amazon and Blue Origin Jeff Bezos. During his speech, the famous American entrepreneur and billionaire expressed a number of bold ideas: colonization of near-Earth orbit, industrialization of near space, high-speed futuristic transport, which will serve all this huge infrastructure. That sounds really good. Honor and praise the author? There is a big «but» though. All this is painfully similar to the projects of the Belorussian engineer and inventor, author of the concept of the Skyway transport and SpaceWay space project Anatoliy Yunitskiy. And Bezos was well aware of this.

The billionaire's words are cited by the portal Businessinsider. Jeff Bezos states that he plans to place in space up to a trillion people with O’Neill's colonies, rotating cylinders designed for reproducing gravity, rotation around the Earth and maintaining human life.

These colonies, Bezos says, will have high-speed transport, agricultural areas, cities. Some of them will be for leisure purposes only. The gravity on the objects will be different, and in some of them, you can even fly with artificial wings. Extraterrestrial colonies will be built by our descendants, as on the Earth, as Bezos believes, there are no necessary technologies yet.

The ideas, which Mr Bezos was trumpeting with pathos as if they were his own, are not new. Konstantin Tsiolkovskiy spoke about the spread of mind in the Universe and cosmic optimism at the beginning of the last century. And in 1988, Anatoliy Yunitskiy, Belorusian engineer and inventor, member of the USSR Federation of Cosmonautics, developed these ideas in his work «Non-Rocket Industrialization of Space: Problems, Ideas, Projects». At the same time, he held the first international conference on the non-rocket space industrialization in Gomel and justified the physical and technological conditions that determine the large-scale industrialization of space, with cargo flows of millions of tons per year and passenger flows of millions of people per year, i.e. all, that in a much less scientific way and with a bias in populism, was told by Jeff Bezos at his presentation. The latter, by the way, showed at his presentation colorful slides, in the foreground of which you can easily recognize… SkyWay – the transport complex, the idea of which also belongs to the engineer Yunitskiy, who has already built and is testing such tracks in Belarus.     

Let us suppose possible, although unlikely, option – a coincidence. Two smart people came up with similar ideas, one earlier, the other later. After all, the American billionaire, the richest man of 2018, according to Forbes, could easily not be aware of the ideas of the inventor from the former Soviet Union.

But he did know about them. Back in December 2018 Anatoliy Yunitskiy wrote the Open Letter, addressed to Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, which was published in the spring issue of Room magazine, a profile English-language publication about space. In it, the Belorussian inventor talks about the industrialization of space as the only way to prevent environmental disaster, and also talks about the need to use non-rocket, environmentally friendly technologies developed by him, and published in the all-Union journals «Inventor and Rationalizer» and «Technology for Youth» in the distant 1982. He described how to bring to the near-Earth orbit of our planet all the harmful production, organizing it there in a environmentally friendly way on a fundamentally new technological resources of zero gravity, high vacuum, using practically free solar energy.

Bezos, in his presentation, decided to go further, talking about a «trillion people» and about cities. He proposes to bring the entire human civilization into space. And definitely, the American entrepreneur saw and read about Yunitkiy's ideas and read his Open Letter – such coincidences do not happen.

To clarify the situation, we contacted Anatoliy Yunitskiy, who now holds the post of General Designer of the CJSC «String Technologies», which he created, and asked him to comment on the Washington presentation.

«It's nice, of course, that such a busy person as Mr Bezos found the time to read my letter: and there is no doubt after his presentation, that he did read it. Although he has adopted my concept of industrialization, his idea that humans should live in space is, to put it mildly, questionable. Man belongs to the Earth, where there is the ideal gravity, air, water, food, temperature, atmospheric pressure – I can go forever with this list. Space is destructive for people. We should speak about bringing production into space, but not the whole civilization. I am also surprised at Bezos's words about the lack of the technologies necessary for the industrialization of space in the context of the fact that I wrote to him about such technologies», the Belorussian inventor commented.  

We have also sent a letter to Jeff Bezos asking him directly how much his ideas were inspired by the work of the Belorusian engineer Yunitskiy. No response has yet been received».

We remind you that earlier, in April 2019, there has been held the presentation of the updated edition of Anatoliy Yunitskiy's monograph «String Transport Systems: On Earth and In Space». It describes the history of the creation of the Skyway transport complexes, as well as the SpaceWay program of non-rocket space exploration.

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