Beaten to space (more or less) by Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos has decided not to be outdone by bringing the youngest ever astronaut with him to space later this month. That news came on Thursday, days after the Virgin owner’s own trip to the edges of space that made him the first civilian to briefly leave Earth’s grasp.
Skeptics could certainly paint this as two billionaires merely fighting over the upper edge of Earth’s atmosphere, but a more whimsical look at Bezos and Branson taking flight may see it as the start of space tourism in earnest. Whatever the future holds, though, what’s clear is that this may be yet another example of The Simpsons predicting something that happened in real life years before it actually occurred.
As Deadline laid out following a few days of post-Branson buzz, a scene from the show’s 25th season shows Branson admiring a painting while floating in space. The clip comes from the 15th episode of the season, entitled The War of Art. In it, an art forger speaks to Lisa about how much joy his work has given others, kicking off a quick montage of art in different places. One of them, of course, is an image of Branson floating in a spacecraft while looking at a painting.
The clip from 2004 went viral in the wake of Branson’s spaceflight, but many — including at least one person involved with the show — pointed out that it wasn’t a prediction as much as a pretty common reference once Virgin’s space endeavors were made public with Virgin Galactic that same year.
Given the extremely long time the show’s been on the air and the sheer volume of episodes out there at this point, it seems logical that the show would get things right from time to time. But whether it’s a prediction or luck, it certainly had people talking about weightless billionaires.