Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that he was selling about $ 1 billion on the Internet retailer's stock annually to finance his rocket company Blue Origin, which aims to launch Of paying passengers on 11-minute spacewalks from next year.
Blue Origin had hoped to start testing flights with pilots and engineers in the company in 2017, but this probably will not happen until next year, Bezos to reporters at the annual US Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
"My business model right now … for Blue Origin I sell about $ 1 billion worth of Amazon stock per year and I use it to invest in Blue Origin" , Said Bezos, general manager of Amazon.com Inc. and also the owner of The Washington Post newspaper.
Ultimately, the plan is that Blue Origin will become a profitable, self-sustaining company with a long-term goal to reduce the cost of spaceflight so that millions of people can live and work off the land. Declared Bezos.
Bezos is the largest shareholder in Amazon, with 80.9 million shares, according to Thomson Reuters data. At Wednesday's closing price of $ 909.28, Bezos is expected to sell 1,099,771 shares to meet its promise to sell Amazon shares of $ 1 billion. The Amazon assets of Bezos, representing a 16.95% stake in the company, worth validly 73.54 billion dollars to the closing price on Wednesday.
For now, Blue Origin, based in Kent, Washington, is working at much shorter jumps – 11 minutes of space routes that are not fast enough to put a spacecraft into orbit of the earth.
Blue Origin did not start selling tickets or fixing prices to board his six-passenger gum capsule, known as the New Shepard.
The reusable rocket and capsule is designed to carry passengers at an altitude of more than 100 miles (62 km) above the planet so that they can have a few minutes of weightlessness and see The curvature of the Earth against the blackness of space. Unmanned test flights have been launched since 2015.
At the symposium, Bezos showed a modeling of the passenger capsule, which features six inclined seats, each with its own large window. Also posted was a burnt New Shepard booster rocket that was pulled out in October after five flights.
As the other technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, Bezos said reuse is the key to reducing the cost of spaceflight. Last week, SpaceX relaunched a rocket for a second unprecedented mission to put a spacecraft in orbit.
"The approach to engineering is a little different, but we are very aware," Bezos said on Musk.
Blue Origin develops a second launch system to transport satellites and possibly people in orbit, similar to those of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Dragon Capsule
The development costs for this system, known as New Glenn, will be about $ 2.5 billion.
There is still no estimate for how much Bezos invests globally on Blue Origin. But Bezos said he would spend what it takes.
"This is a long road to get there and I am happy to invest in it," said Bezos.
According to Forbes magazine, Bezos has a net worth of $ 78 billion.