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Quest Means Business
Jeff Bezos And Crew Completes Historic Flight To Edge Of Space; Markets Rebounding After Worst Day Since October 2020; Tokyo Olympics CEO Won't Rule Out Canceling Games. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 20, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: By the proverbial rockets that we will be talking about throughout today's program; on Monday, it was the
Dow's biggest point drop of the year. Today, is one of the biggest point gains of the up and down, like a rocket, but today, up and it stays up;
again, of nearly one and three quarter percent.
The markets as they look at this hour and the main events of Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to Earth, First Step. Congratulations to all of you.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Yes, there he is. The richest man on Earth; now, the richest man in space. Jeff Bezos says he is building roads beyond this planet.
Like the rockets that we are talking about, Wall Street's bounce back from Monday's miserable session; and the former central banker, who now runs
Tokyo Olympics is not ruling out a last minute cancellation.
I'm back. Yes, I'm back in New York. And today is Tuesday, July the 23rd. I am Richard Quest, and of course, I mean business.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Two, one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wooh. Oh, wow. Wow. You have to look out the window.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's incredible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at everything --
JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER, BLUE ORIGIN: The most profound piece of it, for me was looking out at the Earth and looking at the Earth's atmosphere. Every
astronaut, everybody who has been up in space, they say this, that it changes them, and they look at it and they are kind of amazed and awestruck
by the Earth and its beauty, but also by its fragility, and I can vouch for that.
What we're doing is not only adventure; it is adventure, and it is fun, but it is also important. We're going to build a road to space so that our kids
and their kids can build the future. And we need to do that.
We need to do that to solve the problems here on Earth. This is not about escaping Earth, this is the only good planet in this solar system. We've
sent robotic probes to all of them. This is the only good one, I promise you.
And we have to take care of it. And when you go into space and see how fragile it is, you'll want to take care of it even more.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Good evening. Tonight, can the man who has delivered our packages on the same day. Build that roadway to space?
Jeff Bezos is the richest man on earth. And as you saw, he left Earth for 10 short minutes on a trip that he hopes will reshape its future. The
supersonic ride on the rocket that he developed -- or his company, Blue Origin -- he paid for and the passengers included both the oldest and the
youngest people to ever fly into space.
Together, they rocketed through the West Texas sky and into the emptiness and of course the weightlessness of zero gravity for a few precious
Then 65 miles of a glide, more of a fall to the Earth in tiny capsules and we all watched following their flight.
Rachel Crane is in Van Horn in Texas. It was -- it was exciting. It was exceptionally exciting. And in many ways, it was more space-ified in the
space-ification than the Branson one a week or so ago because it took off on a rocket.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATIONS AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Richard. I mean, you know what we saw with Branson, that was more
of, you know, glorified space plane.
But this you know, you had that dragon of a rocket underneath this capsule called RSS First Step, called RSS for sure because that stands for Reusable
Spaceship First Step because Blue Origin sees their New Shepard Program, which is the suborbital flights is just the first step to their larger
space ambitions that include lunar missions, to Mars, and beyond.
They really see themselves as creating the infrastructure for a future where we are, you know, perhaps moving our heavy manufacturing off into
space to preserve Planet Earth.
But this launch today, you know, this was a historic first for the company, Richard. You know that, you know they've had 15 successful test flights
before but none of them had ever been crewed.
CRANE: So, this crew here today, including Jeff Bezos himself, you know, they were really guinea pigs. And as we saw today, this flight, the company
is saying, went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful, beautiful day here in West Texas and they landed that landing of the booster just
I mean, that's one of the main parts of Blue Origin is the reusability piece and the booster that we saw fly today, it has already flown twice
before. So, they are hoping to get these vehicles flying up to 25 times, Richard, So, that is really all but driving down that cost of space
exploration and these flights.
We don't know yet -- sorry, but we don't yet know what the price of these tickets are, Richard. We do know though, that one person paid $28 million,
but did not board today's flight and will be on a later new Shepard flight.
QUEST: I mean, I was going to ask you, have you had a sniff round and managed to find out what the going price for one of those tickets are?
Bearing in mind that the going price for a Branson ticket is about a quarter of a million, but I'm guessing his launch costs are lower than Blue
CRANE: Well, we don't know about the exact launch costs, but we do know that Bezos's pockets are certainly deeper than Branson's. And actually, I
was just out with Bezos at the launch pad, the landing pad rather, I tried to press him on the cost of what these flights are going to be. He actually
laughed when I said, "So, how much is it going to cost me?"
So, they're not yet ready to divulge what the price tag of these launches are going to be, Richard, but the company has said that they have two more
flights scheduled for 2021 that are crewed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEZOS: So, I'm going to split my time between Blue Origin and the Bezos Service Fund. The Bezos Service Fund is about climate change and
sustainability, and that is -- those two things -- and there is going to be a third thing, and maybe a fourth thing, but I don't know what those are
yet. I'm not very good at doing one thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CRANE: So Richard, the answer that you just heard there was when I was pressing Bezos about, you know what his next steps were. We know that he
just stepped down as CEO of Amazon. He has said in the past that his work with Blue Origin, he believes is the most important work of his career.
So I asked him if he was going to be focusing more on Blue Origin, if this is where he was going to be spending his time and as you heard, you know,
it is going to be one of the focuses, but he is planning on splitting his time amongst a couple of things.
QUEST: Rachel, thank you. Congratulations, excellent coverage during the course of today and for last week, and whenever the next one is. Thank you.
Now, the past nine days could not just change the world, but rather the entire solar system. The Bezos's venture follows Branson's Virgin Galactic.
The billionaire space race has loftier goals for the new era of human civilization.
So, Branson wants Virgin Galactic to normalize space tourism, in his words, "fill the world with astronauts." Origin is working on a moon lander to
make the moon a routine destination and wants to mine asteroids. SpaceX and Musk has his eyes on sending humans to Mars, also filling low Earth orbits
with satellites, sending them to the space station as well of course, automate the final trappings for permanent humans presence in outer space.
Miles O'Brien is with us. Miles, okay, I would like us for a second to -- forget the billionaires all spending billions and billions and all of that.
I'd like you to think of them as sponsors, patrons, if you will of space as the old patrons of the explorers, Magellan, and Columbus and Vasco da Gama,
and they paved the way for new things.
If that is the case, who is the true explorer here?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN, AEROSPACE ANALYST: Interesting. You mean of the three or just in general?
O'BRIEN: That's a real -- that's a tough question. Here's what I would say to you, Richard, it's really -- it's important to think of the big picture
here, right? I think the idea of extending human presence beyond the Earth is ingrained in us. It's something ingrained in us genetically. I mean,
otherwise, we're -- the human beings would never have left Sub Saharan Africa. Right here, we would have populated the planet now when we look
So to look at the three of them and say, who is the better explorer here? Who is pushing it further? Each of them adds a little piece to the puzzle.
And, you know, I think, we in the media have kind of enjoyed this narrative of the billionaires in a race with each other.
I don't think they -- you know, of course, there is some competitive nature here, Richard Branson put himself ahead of the line in front of Jeff Bezos,
so there must have been a little bit of that. But it's not like each of them, you know, kind of looking at the other going, oh, he's going to steal
Space is a big place. There's a lot of room out there. There's a lot of resources, a lot of ideas that can be brought to fruition. And most
importantly, Richard, and this is where people get into this either or question, why aren't we feeding people on this planet instead of doing
We need to go there to learn better how to take care of our planet. It's all part of the big picture in continuing our civilization on a good and it
means avoiding extinction.
QUEST: Right. But Miles, the sort of work that they are doing -- to do that what you've just said, I think of it as governments. I think of it as NASA,
the European Space Agency, the Japanese Agency that one traditionally thinks in space terms, and this is a quantum change in perhaps in our
thinking. I've always thought of it as that's the job of the big ones.
O'BRIEN: Yes, but you know, you're a free market guy, Richard. I mean, can you imagine if the airline industry had never moved out of being subsidized
by Air Mail, right? I mean, can you imagine if that was it -- can you imagine the airline industry before 1978 before it was deregulated? Look
how that changed things.
So, the free market works pretty well. And it's been difficult because NASA has been the 800-pound gorilla in this business for so long with the cost
plus contracts. It's been impossible for these little guys, relatively speaking to get in the game. But that's changing. And that's good, don't
QUEST: Absolutely. So, I look at Musk and he is already taking people to the space station and he is putting satellites. Lots of them.
He has a commercially viable operation on the way to. I look at Branson, he's got Galactic, which is going to launch -- sorry, the Virgin is going
to launch satellites into the orbit, and he's got Galactic. And I look at Amazon's Bezos and I don't see what he does next that has a commercial
opportunity with it.
O'BRIEN: All right. I see what you're saying. Yes, yes, let's face it. Musk is easily a few orders of magnitude ahead of these guys. He is doing taking
things to orbit. He has great contracts with NASA. He's got a different -- you know, his business is on a different plane, if you will.
You look at Richard Branson's, that's a very finely tuned vehicle for space tourism and not much else. So they do have an orbital enterprise to put
small payloads in orbit, but a different architecture than what you see there.
Here's what you have to understand about the Bezos rocket. That rocket is way more complex and way over engineered and has way more systems than you
would ever need just to do a simple suborbital hop like you saw today.
It has liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. You don't need that to go up 65 miles. So, he has built a system that is scalable to orbit relatively
easily, because they are learning how to operate those systems at a smaller scale, then you start going to orbit, then you start thinking about doing
other things, then you start pushing to the moon and beyond.
QUEST: Miles, you said he's bought or he's built. No, he didn't. You and I built it. Listen to what -- I assume you've got an Amazon Prime account.
Listen to what Bezos said today. Listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEZOS: I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this. So, seriously, for every
Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It's very appreciated.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Miles, I bet you never thought you'd pay for a rocket to go to space other than through taxes.
O'BRIEN: Yes, it just changes the way you think about same day delivery. But you know, he talks a lot about -- hey, listen. He talks a lot about the
golden ticket that Amazon is and you know, I've got to give him credit. He is doing something that -- it's a long term play. But the idea of humanity
becoming multi-planetary, maybe multi-solar system is a big idea which we shouldn't let go of.
QUEST: Great to see you, Miles, just the man we needed and just the voice we wanted to hear from. Thank you, sir. Miles O'Brien.
O'BRIEN: You're most welcome.
QUEST: I need to bring you this breaking news. Investor Thomas Barrack, an ally of Donald Trump, who chaired the former President's inaugural fund has
now been arrested. Evan Perez is on the story.
Evan, what is he being arrested for?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, he is facing charges from prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, for foreign lobbying
violations, essentially working as an agent of a foreign power, in this case, the United Arab Emirates.
Barrack, as you mentioned is a prominent donor -- was a prominent donor -- of the former President. He Chaired the Inaugural Committee and then
continued to have a tremendous amount of influence on Middle East policy.
According to prosecutors, he had so much influence on behalf of Emiratis with the former administration that he was able to insert some praise of
the UAE in an energy speech that former President delivered back in 2019.
PEREZ: He is also said to have tried to influence the appointment of an Ambassador to the UAE, according to these documents.
QUEST: Right, Evan.
QUEST: Can I just interrupt because we are short of time. Is this a Trojan horse charge designed to turn him or to try to turn him against further
evidence on other matters? Or is it a legitimate charge in its own right?
PEREZ: No, it appears -- yes, it appears this is a charge on its own right. He is facing these charges and this appears to be the end of this
QUEST: Evan, thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Busy day, I apologize for having to interrupt you, but thank you.
Markets are rocketing back after Monday's dip. Clare Sebastian will be with me. The delta variant has fueled the drop. So, we need to understand what
was the recovery all about? QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: Markets in the U.S. has staged a major comeback after Monday's miserable trading. Look at the daily -- it is on track for its best daily
point gains since November after posting its biggest daily decline since October. November-October-November, bish, bash, bosh.
The S&P and NASDAQ also much higher. They're gaining by close to two percent. Travel stocks are really up and American Express up more than
seven percent. United and Delta, all the major ones and the cruise lines are storming ahead. Norwegian is up nearly nine percent.
Clare Sebastian -- I'm very -- Clare, you know, I'm very wary of why did the market go up and why did the market go down on any given day. But
yesterday's sharp falls followed by today's bounce back make little sense.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Richard, I think that's why it's important to look not just at the stock market for clues as to
what's going on here, because if you look at stocks alone, it looks like yesterday was a blip. Delta fears have gone away and then everyone has just
come in and is looking for a bargain again, because what we're seeing really is a reversal.
The stocks that were really down yesterday are really back up today -- the cruise lines, the airlines, Boeing was the biggest fall yesterday on the
Dow. Today, it is the biggest gainer.
But I think, look closely at the bond market as well because yields have come up a little bit, but they are still hovering around the 1.2 mark,
which is really about where we saw them in mid-February before the inflation fears came into the market and drove yields higher and that does
suggest that at the moment that the fears around the potential hit to growth from the spread of the delta variant is taking precedence over the
fears of inflation. So, that's one thing to look at.
SEBASTIAN: The other thing, the VIX is interesting. That implies volatility over the month ahead. That, it has come down about 12 percent today, but it
is still elevated, still around 20. So, that's elevated compared to recent levels.
So, that suggests that this volatility that we're seeing at the moment might continue over the coming weeks because of these confounding forces
that we're seeing -- higher inflation with higher growth rates, earnings have been really good.
But of course, there are these fears around the fact that this might be the best that we're going to get this year. So, a lot of different forces out
there, Richard, and I think you sort of have to search for clues in all the different markets.
QUEST: In my morning reading over breakfast, I was reading the economics of BIM's chief economist, who makes I think, a valid point that the bull
market will continue for the rest of the year, but it won't run as hot or as fast.
SEBASTIAN: Right. And I think, look, it is worth saying that we are in one sense sort of seeing history repeat like we saw last summer, a lot of what
we're going to see now is going to be dependent. You and I have said this over and over again during the course of the pandemic. It will be dependent
on the numbers that we're seeing, the spread of the delta variant, the spread of vaccinations, especially in areas where there are lower rates of
This is a specter that is now back in the markets despite the rebound that we're seeing. So yes, we are going to see strong growth rates this year. I
don't think those forecasts are not going to materialize just because of the spread of the delta variant.
But I think things could be slightly more tempered down, they could be slightly delayed, and that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the
markets -- Richard.
QUEST: Clare Sebastian, we will watch closely. Thank you.
The head of the organizer of the Tokyo Olympics won't rule out canceling the games if COVID cases spiral out of control. The organizing committee
has now linked more than 70 cases to the Olympics, which will begin on Friday. Tokyo reported nearly 1,400 new cases on Tuesday. The second
highest number since late January.
The Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto is a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan. He chose his words carefully when asked if The Games could be called
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOSHIRO MUTO, TOKYO 2020 CEO (through translator): With regard to infection, what will happen to the status of infections? We can't predict
what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there's a spike in cases. I think that is all I can say at
At the five-party meeting, which was held the other day, we agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again.
At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall. So, we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Selina Wang is in Tokyo. Selina, I've heard enough central bank governors of one sort or another. I could have taken COVID out and I
couldn't have put the word inflation in. I mean, he basically said, we will look and see and we'll decide when it happens.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, very keen observation. There he is, as you say, a former financial bureaucrat. He has close ties to the
ruling party. This is a man known for choosing his words very carefully. And he's in a very delicate position.
He knows that the Japanese public here is largely incredibly skeptical, still intense opposition to these Games. He cannot say that these games are
going ahead no matter what. The public here incredibly anxious about those growing number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Olympics.
WANG (voice over): Three days before the opening ceremony, the head of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee is not ruling out a last minute
cancellation of the Games as COVID-19 cases surge in Tokyo.
"We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future," he said. "So, as for what to do, should there be any surge of positive cases,
we'll discuss accordingly if that happens." Infections are already creeping up among athletes and those connected to the Olympics.
That includes Kara Eaker, an alternate for the U.S. gymnastics team. Eaker will return to the U.S. after 10 days isolation. Her unvaccinated teammate,
17-year-old Leanne Wong is an isolation as a close contact according to her coach.
The so-called bubble of the Olympic Village has also been punctured, with several positive COVID cases detected among the South African soccer team.
Tokyo officials insist the village is still safe.
MASA TAKAYA, TOKYO 2020 SPOKESMAN: The IOC and Tokyo 2020 are absolutely clear that the Olympic Village is a safe place to stay.
WANG (voice over): But health experts say the wider strategy of keeping foreign visitors away from locals is failing.
DR. KENJI SHIBUYA, PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT: It's obvious that bubble system is kind of broken. So there seems to be a sense of interaction between guests
and visitors and also local people.
WANG (voice over): Tokyo officials insists they are containing the situation, with only a few dozen cases among some 22,000 foreigners who
have arrived for the Games so far.
DR. BRIAN MCCLOSKEY, CHAIR OF INDEPENDENT EXPERT PANEL FOR IOC: If I thought all the tests that we did were going to be negative, then I
wouldn't bother doing the tests in the first place. And the numbers we're seeing are actually extremely low, I mean, probably lower than expected to
see if anything.
WANG (voice over): And the advanced testing requirement is filtering out positive cases before people even fly in to Japan, including 17-year-old
American tennis star Coco Gauff, who tested positive in the U.S. before flying
And Katie Lou Samuelson from the U.S. women's basketball team, who tested positive despite being vaccinated. Two players from Mexico's Olympic
baseball team also tested positive and won't travel to Japan.
But with more transmissible variants like the delta and over 11,000 athletes descending on Japan for more than 200 countries, fears are growing
about the risk to those visiting Tokyo and the local population.
QUEST: Selina, isn't really though point, which the health experts made. It was inevitable there were going to be some cases. Aren't we making a fuss -
- an unnecessary fuss? I don't know. Are we making an unnecessary fuss over a limited number of cases when the reality is most are negative and the
thing is going ahead?
WANG: Well, Richard, the Games haven't even begun yet. Right? The organizers say that some 22,000 people have already arrived. But these
Games involve more than 80,000. So, the big question here is what is containment going to look like when these games actually start? And it's
only going to get a lot more complicated for these athletes. Many more will inevitably lose their chance to compete.
I had a conversation with Kenji Shibuya, the public health expert that was in my story, and he told me that he just doesn't think the idea of a bubble
was ever feasible in the first place with something the size and scale of the Games and he is worried about those infections potentially spilling
into the Japanese public here.
Richard, just 20 percent of people in Japan are fully vaccinated and he is critical of the rules for participants. They don't have to quarantine for a
full 14 days for one example.
QUEST: Celina, it is half past four in the morning for you there, and I'm grateful. You've either got up early or stayed up late, whichever it is.
Have a coffee. Thank you.
Jeff Bezos has fulfilled a lifelong ambition today. He brought several others who dreamed of going into space along for the ride, after the break.
QUEST: Returning to the top story, Jeff Bezos has launched himself and others and successfully into space and perhaps more importantly, brought
themselves back to Earth in one piece. Three minutes of weightlessness during the suborbital flight, and starting the next chapter of his career.
Kristin Fisher is at the Launch Site One in Texas. What did you make of it as our new space and science correspondent, what did you make of what
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it sure was fun to watch. We have had such a desert of human space flight on U.S. soil, right.
I mean after the space shuttle program retired, there were no U.S. astronauts launching from U.S. soil in about a decade.
So to see this here today, was truly exciting and to watch those four astronauts get their wings, I know some people would like to call them
space tourists but they certainly believe that they earned their astronaut wings today -- Richard.
QUEST: And this idea of a pathway to space, because like you, I'm not impressed by this billionaires' race. I think that's missing the point. The
point is that they are pushing forward.
So where do you see it going next?
FISHER: Well, this competition between all of these billionaires in space now, it does -- it generates some headlines right. But just like the space
race back with the Soviet Union, really fueled NASA to do incredible things and land astronauts on the moon, this is a new era of space travel.
And so what Blue Origin is trying to do -- and this is the very early, early steps and days of it -- they're trying to build this road to space
for future generations. But the ultimate goal of moving heavy industry, moving mining into space and then use protecting planet Earth, protecting
the species, saving this as kind of just a beautiful planet for people to live on.
Van Jones, my colleague and our colleague and our contributor, he gets $100 million along with Jose Andres for charitable work. But here's the bit. I
want to read exactly.
Bezos says, "Jones and Andres were free to do whatever they want with the money. They can give it all to their own charity or they can share the
wealth. It is up to them."
Now obviously both these men will use it for charitable, philanthropic aims but it shows the difference between Bezos and every other human being, when
he can give away $200 million in such a fashion.
FISHER: And don't forget, he had just given away I believe the same amount, about $100 million to the Smithsonian, its largest gift since its founding.
I think the takeaway here is that Jeff Bezos clearly got the memo that a lot of people don't like that he's a billionaire and they don't like the
fact that all these billionaires are going up into space on what is perceived to be joyrides for the wealthy.
So clearly he was trying to do his part to give back and try to fix some of the problems here on planet Earth, too.
QUEST: So as you watched it go up, and there was that feeling. I watched it this morning. There was a feeling of go, go, go. It doesn't matter what. At
the end of the day, you had five human beings, who strapped themselves to the front of a large Roman candle and then lit the blue touch paper and
stood well back.
FISHER: I hate to use the word goose bumps because it is so cliche. But when you hear that countdown right. It is hard. I was not on a seat but I
was on the edge of my seat. It is just such a primal thing to watch this rocket.
And it kind of looks like a living, breathing beast right. There is smoke coming out of it. A lot of astronauts equate rockets to a kind of a dragon.
And so to watch that steaming on the launch pad, the countdown to go down, to know that those four humans are going to see that curvature of the
It is just exciting and I was thrilled to be here. Especially since it has been so long since we had seen humans launch into space from U.S. soil.
SpaceX, Elon Musk the first to do it a little over a year ago then Richard Branson and now Jeff Bezos.
QUEST: Kristin, your first time with me here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. It will not be your last. A warm welcome to the CNN family --
FISHER: Thank you.
QUEST: And most certainly QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, we need your interpretation. Thank you.
Now so we've been reporting and you've just been hearing, the 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk was amongst the crew. She trained to be an astronaut in
the 1960s and denied the opportunity to travel to space because of her gender. Her enthusiasm remained undimmed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLY FUNK, AVIATOR: I love it. And I love being here with all of you and your family and the four of us. We had a great time. It was wonderful. I
want to go again, fast.
FUNK: And then when I got off the ship, they gave me the tail end of one of the balloons and I'm going on cherish that forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now to Mae Jemison, who knows a thing or two about the creating history first Black woman in space and she joins me now from Houston.
I think that she was the star wasn't she?
She may not have paid the bill but the fact that she was able to achieve her ambition in that sense makes her so significant.
As you watched today, what did you make of it?
DR. MAE JEMISON, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: So as I saw it, I saw a great launch. And I also saw wonderful engineering and I saw us moving along what
I believe is actually a continuum of human space exploration. And I say that because what we saw with Wally Funk was someone who was tested with 12
other women, Mercury 13, in the early '60s with the same test the men had, had the right stuff done, in fact did as well or better than the men did.
But because of their gender, they were not allowed to go. In fact, Lyndon Johnson, who was a big advocate of civil rights, could stop this now. So
what we see is that we are moving along and going further.
QUEST: This idea, I want to get your perspective on this idea, that everybody says, Bezos said it, Branson said it, that you see space and you
see the fragility of the Earth, et cetera.
Is that true?
Is there a different perspective with which you return?
JEMISON: Well, I think everybody sort of sees what they take up with them from their background. When I looked at the Earth, I saw this wonderful
planet with this thin blue layer of atmosphere. But I saw the robustness and the resilience of the Earth.
It can be harmed though. It can be harmed in such a way that it doesn't support our life form. And the height of human arrogance is when we think
it is all about us and it's not about other things.
So when I think the perspective that I received was not that there were no borders and boundaries on Earth. I never thought that. I was more connected
with the rest of the universe and I recognize that we are not the end all- be all. But we have a role to play.
QUEST: Was there a moment, when your rocket took off, was there a moment -- I know you trained and you're ready and it's highly trained, particularly
in the case of astronauts.
Were you ever nervous?
JEMISON: Well, of course you're nervous. You're sitting on tons of high explosives. You're going on a journey that, for me, I grew up on the South
Side of Chicago, wanting to be a part of. And not only was I the first African American and the first Black woman in space, I was the first woman
of color in the entire world to go into space, which, to me, was something that we should have done years ago.
So, yes, there was an anticipation. But you know, Richard, I really want to get to something that I've been hearing people talk about in relation to
this launch and I think it is really incumbent on us to understand the context in which this launch took place.
Right now there are people on the International Space Station doing remarkable research and science. In February, three probes from the Earth
entered Martian orbit from three different countries.
Voyager is outside of our solar system. We're looking at exoplanets outside of our solar system. So this is a continuum. What is exciting about it is,
yes, we have private industry building spacecraft for humans.
But we have to put this in the context that they're building on a lot of the knowledge and the capabilities and the capacity that we, as taxpayers,
not just Amazon customers but we, as taxpayers, already did. Right?
QUEST: Very good point. And thank you for reminding us. All the little things that are now trolling around on Mars, taking pictures, bringing us
back pictures, all the people, like yourself who did wonderful work. Thank you. I appreciate your time with us tonight. Thank you for joining us.
The whole thought of what's happening. Let's have a look at the markets because we'll take a short break, of course. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for the
moment. I'll have more at the top of the hour as we make a dash for the closing bell.
But I did want to take a second for a short little profitable moment because it's easy. I was very deliberate in today's program. I said to my
colleagues, let's not be carping. Let's not be wingeing. Let's not worry about billionaires' race and is -- there are problems to sort out.
And Mae just made exactly the reasons why. Of course, there are problems on Earth to solve out. And they will be solved (INAUDIBLE) as Bezos said. But
that doesn't detract for when explorers go further than we've been before or do something different, do something new and move the needle forward.
QUEST: Even if it is only by 62 kilometers -- 82 kilometers or wherever it is. It is important. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I will have the dash
for the bell at the top of the hour. Next, "AFRICA AVANT-GARDE." This is CNN.
QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest. Let's together have a dash to the closing bell. We are just two minutes away. The U.S. markets are staging a strong
comeback from Monday's losses. The Dow is on track for its best one-day's point gain in weeks.
And yet only yesterday, of course, suffered its biggest daily drop since October. You paid your money, you takes your choice. The SNP and the
Nasdaq, all in the triple SEC, are also much higher. All three indices are up more than 12 percent year to date.
It wasn't only the markets taking off. Jeff Bezos launched himself and a few others into space on his Blue Origin rocket that he helped develop.
Speaking after he returned to Earth, Mr. Bezos joked that it was Amazon, customers and employees, that have paid for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER, BLUE ORIGIN: I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this.
So seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It's very
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And if we take a look at the Dow 30 and you see, not surprisingly to get those sorts of numbers, mostly green across the board, Boeing leading
the pack. Boeing is up nearly 5 percent.
Bank stocks, a strong day for bank and tech stocks, with only one or two stocks in the red. You know what sort of day it is when you see Verizon
down there. Chipotle and United Airlines will report earnings after the close.
But as you can see the predominance of green shows the bullishness in the markets as a result. Why it fell yesterday, why it rose today, one cancels
out the other. You pays your money, as I say, you takes your choice.
That's the dash to the bell. I'm Richard Quest back in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I do hope it's profitable. The closing
bell is ringing now. And "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" follows.