In his farewell letter to Amazon employees, Bezos wrote, "As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions.”
Blue Origin: Blue Origin is Jeff Bezos' personal space exploration company which aims to make space travel cheaper and more accessible.
- Bezos founded the company in 2000 and has called it "most important work I’m doing."
- In 2017, he announced he would liquidate at least $1B of Amazon stock annually to fund Blue Origin. Reuters has reported that Bezos will likely now shift his focus to Blue Origin, which has fallen behind its competitors.
- Blue Origin trails SpaceX, which has become NASA's "go-to-ride into orbit," in the orbital transportation sector. Blue Origin is currently competing with SpaceX and Dynetics to develop a lunar lander for NASA, aiming to take humans to the moon. Bezos reportedly believes winning and executing the contract would help the company become NASA's main partner and ensure its profitability.
- Last month, Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket booster and capsule completed its fourteenth test flight. New Shepard can reach altitudes of more than 340,000 feet and is built to carry passengers past the edge of space. It was reported that the company could begin flying passengers into space as early as April.
- New Glenn is Blue Origin's reusable first-stage booster rocket designed to carry satellites into orbit. It was awarded a NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract in December, allowing it to compete for space missions until December 2027.
- On Feb. 25, Blue Origin delayed the inaugural launch of New Glenn until Q4 2022 after it lost out on important government launch contracts worth billions of dollars to SpaceX and United Launch Alliance.