WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man is flying to space onboard his own rocket ship.
- Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, also owns a space company, Blue Origin.
- According to Bezos, he’s been dreaming about flying into space since he was five years old.
Jeff Bezos is going to space onboard the rocket ship made by his space company, Blue Origin. The New Shepard is scheduled to take off on July 20th. Mark Bezos, Jeff’s younger brother, will be joining him on the flight.
Bezos is set to step down as CEO of Amazon on July 5. He has a net worth of $187 billion and is the world’s richest person.
If everything goes according to plan, Bezos will be the first billionaire space tycoon to ride aboard the rocket technology that took six years and millions of dollars to develop. The 59-foot New Shepard is a six-seater capsule that will reach more than 60 miles above Earth in 11-minutes.
In May, Blue Origin announced that it was preparing its passengers for the New Shepard’s maiden flight.
The company has not announced how much they’re selling the regular tickets, but it said it will give one seat to the winner of their ongoing month-long auction. On Monday morning, the bidding was at $2.8 million, but it reached $3.2 million after the announcement from Blue Origin.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, and the company has been conducting test flights with no passengers at the company’s facilities in rural Texas.
In 1994, Bezos started Amazon with $250,000 from his parents. Over the following years, the company has grown from an online bookseller to one of the largest companies in the world.
Amazon’s popularity was one of the reasons for Bezos’ growing fortune. In 1999, he was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. According to Bezos, at one point he was selling over $1 billion worth of Amazon stock each year for the funding of Blue Origin’s rocket development.
Bezos will remain as Amazon’s executive chairman. Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon Web Services, will succeed him as CEO.
Blue Origin is also planning to develop New Glenn, a towering rocket that aims to send commercial satellites and the US government to orbit, and potentially fly into deep space. It also plans to get involved in NASA’s plan to send astronauts to the moon by 2024. The space company wants to build a lunar lander that would shuttle astronauts from the moon’s orbit down to the surface, but Elon Musk’s SpaceX won the contract. Blue Origin is objecting to that contract decision.
In an interview with Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of Axel Springer, Bezos said he’s passionate about space and has been studying and dreaming about it since he was five. But he says the main reason why he’s doing his Blue Origin work is to prevent “civilization of stasis” which he finds “demoralizing.”
Source: CNN Business