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10,000 Year Clock is gearing up for visitors

10,000 Year Clock
Workers install the 10,000 Year Clock inside an underground chamber in Texas. (Long Now Foundation)techno

With $42 million in funding from Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, the Long Now Foundation can afford to take the long view about a massive clock designed to run for 10,000 years — but it’s also open to hosting visitors in the nearer term.

The leader of the team behind the 10,000 Year Clock, which is currently being built inside a mountain in West Texas, talked about getting the place ready for guests in an interview published on Friday by The Hustle.

“We have a year or so more of installation work, and a year of commissioning,” Alexander Rose, executive director of the Long Now Foundation, was quoted as saying. “Then we’ll start to have people up to the clock.”

Don’t expect it to be a theme-park experience, however.

“The area is very remote high desert — one of the smallest per-capita areas in the lower 48 states,” The Hustle quoted Rose as saying. “People will have to hike up 2K feet to see it. Hopefully, it’ll be an experience that gives them some time to think about it all.”

Although Rose’s comments made it sound as if tours could begin in as little as two years, a spokesman for the Long Now Foundation told GeekWire that no completion date has been set.

“We don’t know when the clock will be completed,” Long Now’s Andrew Warner said in an email. “We have given hundreds of interviews and never given a completion estimate — part of the whole point of the project is to not limit ourselves to a completion date.”

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Time to check in with Jeff Bezos’ 10,000 Year Clock

10,000 Year Clock
Workers install components of the 10,000 Year Clock in Texas. (Jeff Bezos via Instagram)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos is highlighting the start of installation of the 10,000 Year Clock, a $42 million project that’s arguably as way-out as his Blue Origin space venture.

Today Bezos posted a time-lapse video to Twitter and Instagram showing workers setting up steampunk-style assemblies of gears and sprockets deep inside a mountain in West Texas.

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Jeff Bezos shares big ideas at Museum of Flight

Jeff Bezos
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos shows off a tortoise cufflink during the Pathfinder Awards banquet at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. The tortoise symbolizes the approach Bezos takes with his Blue Origin space venture. “We believe slow is smooth, and smooth is fast,” he says. (Credit: Tania Shepard / Azzura Photography)

Someday, you’ll be printing out a landing pad to guide an Amazon drone to its delivery, or maybe taking a suborbital space trip on a Blue Origin rocket ship, or marveling over the mechanism of a clock designed to run for 10,000 years.

Such were the visions laid out by Amazon’s billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos, on Oct. 22 as he received one of this year’s Pathfinder Awards from the Museum of Flight.

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