Prince William on Sunday shared his thoughts on his interest in space exploration ahead of the Earthshot Awards ceremony, which recognizes people trying to solve the planet’s environmental problems.
“We’ve seen everyone try to engage in space tourism,” Prince William said in an interview with the BBC on Thursday. “We need the world’s greatest brain and consciousness, not trying to fix this planet and trying to find the next life and place to live.”
The Duke of Cambridge launched the Earthshot Award initiative in October 2020, with plans to award five people each year for the next 10 years who find “the most inspiring solutions” to environmental problems such as climate change and air quality.
According to the Royal Foundation’s website, the award was inspired by a speech by former President John F. Kennedy in Congress, but 60 years later, William believes the focus should be on returning to Earth.
“It’s really important that we should focus on this (the planet) rather than surrender and think about finding a solution for the future, rather than flying into space,” the 39-year-old king told the BBC.
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U.S. space tourism on Wednesday joined 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner with his second space flight to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000 for Blue Origin. Shatner called his space trip “indescribable” and added that “everyone in the world should do it.”
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But the Duke of Cambridge said he was removed from the list.
“I’m not at all interested in getting to that level,” William said. “I’m a pilot … but I’m close enough to the ground. I’ve been on a plane once up to 65,000 feet, and it was pretty scary.”
The Earthshot Award announced 15 finalists in September, including a 14-year-old student who used solar energy to burn millions of roadside ironing carts in India to replace coal; a land-based coral farm in the Bahamas to restore dead coral reefs; the Congolese public project dedicated to the protection of gongils; and a Kenyan enterprise that converts organic waste into fertilizer and insect protein for farmers.
Finalists will receive a $ 1.4 million grant to develop and support collaboration ideas with global companies such as Microsoft, Unilever, Ikea and Walmart.
More:Prince William has announced 15 opening finalists for his Earthshot environmental award