Jeff Bezos will sell Amazon stock every year to fund Blue Origin

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said today that he plans to sell $1 billion worth of stock in the e-commerce giant every year to help fund his spaceflight company Blue Origin, according to SpaceNews. As the world’s second richest person with a net worth of more than $78 billion, behind only Bill Gates, Bezos certainly has the financial resources to do that for many more decades. That bolsters the chances that Blue Origin will stay competitive with Elon Musk’s SpaceX as the two companies continue to pioneer privatized space transportation, both for the commercial and tourism industries.

Bezos was speaking at the 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, where he outlined his plans for the future of Blue Origin and space tourism in general. Blue Origin plans to make its reusable New Shepard vehicle fully operational and ready for consumer spaceflight by 2018. That’s a bold timeline, but the company has already launched and landed New Shepard five times.

The plan is to allow well-off passengers to pay for a ticket to be taken to the edge of space, where they can experience weightlessness while massive windows allow for ample viewing angles of Earth. SpaceX, on the other hand, is developing its Dragon space capsule to send astronauts to the International Space Station atop its Falcon 9 two-stage rocket. Though Musk says the company plans on sending people around the Moon as soon as next year using the more powerful Falcon Heavy rocket.

Yet Blue Origin has even grander ambitions. The company is currently working to…

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