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Travelling to space is probably the most pricey destination money can buy you a ticket for, but that may soon change. Amazon founder and CEO, Washington Post owner and founder of space travel company Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos is investing big in the space (literally).
At the Space Symposium Conference, Bezos revealed that he is selling $1 billion of Amazon stock a year to fund Blue Origin. With 80.9 million shares and a 16.95% stake in the company, Bezos is the largest shareholder at Amazon. To meet his funding commitment, the Amazon founder will offload more than 1 million of those shares a year.
For a person with as deep pockets as Jeff Bezos, this is not going to break the bank, over the past two years, Amazon’s stock has almost tripled in value, to a whopping market cap of $439.8 billion as of today, the company in turn has made Jeff Bezos the worlds second richest man as reported here and I am sure he is likely at some stage to overtake Bill Gates and become the worlds richest man.
With Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, all racing to be the biggest in space travel, competition is high for these space travel tycoons. In the privately-funded space race, each is looking to create reusable aircrafts and begin promoting life off Earth. Each of the main players has created huge successes and solved giant problems before, so you can’t doubt that they have the ability to make it happen. I am sure the allure of a place for themselves firmly in history books is one that appeals and drives them on. Its easy to forget a billionaire over time, but the person who enables space travel for the masses will surely be harder to forget. Especially in the world of technology where many take their inspiration for innovation from sci-fi movies and television shows such as the likes of Star Trek. One can only imagine where Jeff Bezos got his inspiration to “Boldly go where no man has gone before” well commercially ;).
Tickets to space with Blue Origin aren’t not on sale yet, but it has been rumoured the company could start offering rides on its six-passenger New Shepard capsule as early as next year. Pictures of the rocket were revealed last week, and for an estimated $300k a ticket you may be able to enjoy a trip to outer space. With reclined seats and large open windows, the New Shepard can carry passengers 100 miles above Earth to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and I would imagine jaw dropping views of Earth and its beautiful curvature. The project, which includes the development of its New Glenn launch system, will cost an estimated $2.5 billion.
Bezos’s goal for Blue Origin is to offer paying passengers 11-minute commercial flights to space. The goal is for Blue Origin to become a profitable, self-sustaining enterprise, with a long-term goal to cut the cost of spaceflight so that millions of people can live and work off Earth,” Bezos said.
Not bad for a guy who started out selling books online… Live long and prosper!
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