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Bezos transitioned into the role of executive chairman of Amazon to devote more time to personal pursuits. Now, the billionaire is looking into industries other than e-commerce. One of them is space tourism.
Being the founder of the world’s biggest e-commerce retailer Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) is not enough for Jeff Bezos. The billionaire has stepped into the space industry, taking part in the first unpiloted suborbital flight with a civilian crew onboard the New Shepard, the new rocket of Bezos’ Blue Origin company. As we reported yesterday, Jeff Bezos, his brother, Mark, trailblazing female aviator Wally Funk and Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen were on board. The trip was just 11 minutes long, but it marked a significant moment in space tourism history, putting the common man in space. Notably, for Jeff Bezos, space flight has been the reveal of his ambitions and future plans after stepping down as Amazon’s CEO.
Two weeks ago, Jeff Bezos handed over Amazon to Andy Jassy, who was previously responsible for building and running Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s dominant cloud-computing business. Back in February, Bezos announced he would transition into the role of executive chairman and devote more time to personal pursuits. Now, the billionaire is looking into industries other than e-commerce. And considering his space experience, his plan is determined.
Jeff Bezos’ Space Ambitions
After touching down, Jeff Bezos shared his space flight experience:
“Best day ever! My expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded.”
Further, he added:
“This is a tiny little step of what Blue Origin is going to do. What we’re really trying to do is build reusable space vehicles. It’s the only way to build a road to space, and we need to build a road to space so that our children can build the future.”
New Shepard’s launch marks a milestone in its progress toward Bezos’ vision. He set up Blue Origin with the goal to create “a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth”. And now the billionaire is moving towards this goal.
The New Shepard rocket and the capsule are reusable, capable of launching, landing, and launching again multiple times. It is controlled entirely by onboard computers, without ground control or a human pilot. So far, Blue Origin has sold nearly $100 million worth of tickets for future passenger space flights. According to Bezos, the demand is “very high”.
Jeff Bezos’ Success Story
Jeff Bezos started his career in finance in the early 1990s, and his career ladder seemed to be up-and-coming. However, in 1994, he decided to take a risk, quit his job at the investment firm D.E. Shaw and opened an online bookstore Amazon.com in Seattle. It was a great success. Amazon.com sold books across the United States and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days. In two months, sales reached $20,000 a week, growing faster than Bezos and his startup team had envisioned.
In 1997, the company went public. Besides, it started diversifying its portfolio. Apart from books, Amazon sold CDs and videos, and starting from 2002, it also included clothes. In 2003, Amazon launched A9, a commercial search engine focusing on e-commerce websites. Bezos also launched an online sporting goods store that offered up to 3,000 different brands.
The company continued expanding its portfolio as well as signing partnerships and investment deals. Besides, it managed to make money while other companies were struggling during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon has made Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world. Bezos also owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company that is developing rockets for commercial use. His current net worth totals $205 billion.