Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, says he’ll be liquidating $1 billion of his stock annually to fund Blue Origin – an aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company.
The company’s name, Blue Origin refers to blue planet or Earth, as its point of origin.
Blue Origin is a company he founded in 2000 headquartered in Kent, Washington. The goal is to develop technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to dramatically lower costs and increase reliability.
A launch that would cost from $60 million today to only $1 million, “that would be great,” Bezos said.
Bezos hopes that the space industry will help create a new world by sparking the same kind of intense creativity and dynamism that the Internet has on people.
Blue Origin’s first operational rocket, the New Shepard, named after America’s first man in space, Alan Shepard, have undergone test flights into the Earth’s atmosphere and has proven successful.
In less than a year, between November 2015 and early October, Blue Origin launched the same New Shepard rocket to the edge of space five times and landed it safely. No other rocket has ever been used even twice.
The crew capsule has the largest windows ever on a spacecraft—single, multilayered acrylic panes that are 3.5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Bezos did not spare any minor detail on commercializing space travel.
In addition, an orbital launch vehicle name New Glenn, named after John Glenn the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, is expected to launch before 2020.
New Glenn, a huge leap in scale, with 35 times the lifting power of New Shepard. New Glenn is designed to go into Earth’s orbit and then re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and land vertically despite its enormous size. Rockets the scale of New Glenn and larger could one day loft 100 or more passengers, Bezos suggests.
Billionaires like Bezos and Elon Musk are heavily criticized for using their resources to private space exploration rather than solving problems here on Earth.
“I will not spend one minute of my life on anything I don’t think is contributing to society and civilization…You want risk taking. You want people to have a vision most people don’t agree with,” Jeff Bezos said.