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Amazon Founder Sells $1 Billion In Stock To Finance Rocket Company

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will sell $1 billion of his online company’s stock every year to fund his space exploration company, Blue Origin.

Bezos has already invested part of his $75 billion fortune into Blue Origin, which aims to bring tourists into space by 2018.

“My business model right now for Blue Origin is that I sell about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock and I use it to invest in Blue Origin,” Bezos said at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. “It’s very important that Blue Origin stand on its own feet and be a profitable, sustainable enterprise. That’s how real progress gets made.”

Blue Origin has been competing with SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, to develop the first reusable rocket. The company successfully landed the first reusable rocket after going into space in November — a feat it has repeated several times.

Blue Origin has “early access” to ticket information for future space tourists. The company also performs sub-orbital research for NASA and recently unveiled images of its New Glenn rocket design.

The two-stage New Glenn rocket is 270-feet tall, 23 feet in diameter and capable of generating 3.85 million pounds of thrust, which is 150 percent more than the rocket that carried humans to the moon in the 1960s and ’70s.

This is much larger than NASA’s 212-foot-tall Space Launch System rocket or SpaceX’s 230-foot-tall Falcon Heavy rocket.

SpaceX plans to have its rocket fly around the moon as earlier as next year and is modifying capsules to carry astronauts into orbit.

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