The enthusiasm and passion that Moses and Bandla radiate is obviously genuine. It’s hard to be cynical when you’re looking up at the sky — or down from it. But the cynicism I felt wasn’t about the flight itself. It wasn’t even really cynicism, actually, but wariness over all the ways something so beautiful can be sullied. Spaceflight itself might be sublime, and even just being witness to it felt transcendent. But there were moments throughout the day that plummeted me back to Earth. At some point after the flight, I heard over the speakers that Branson had been driven to the launch area in a Land Rover, the exclusive automotive sponsor of the flight. In 2019, Land Rover released a special “Astronaut Edition” car that only people who’ve been to space with Virgin Galactic can buy. We were also informed that the snazzy flight suits the astronauts wore were made by Under Armour. Khalid performed his new single for the first time that day, in front of the VIP audience, while the crew heard it first on the spaceship. I imagined him being an intergalactic pop star one day, like Proto Zoa in Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. Going to space doesn’t just give you an altered view of Earth — it also comes with a lot of marketing opportunities on the planet. Throughout the day, we were reminded that history was being created right now. But for who? And by who?