What do you do when you are the world's richest man? Build your own spacecraft and then bag a seat on its first ever manned flight.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, worth an eye-watering $182 billion, has announced he is heading for space on his New Shepard spacecraft.
And you can join him. An auction is currently being held to get a seat on the first manned flight, but you will need to find a few quid at the back of the sofa – bidding currently stands at around £2million.
Once the spaceship reaches the edge of space, passengers will be allowed to unbuckle their safety harnesses and and float free of the Earth’s gravity for around three minutes, before heading back to earth..
The unique spacecraft, with huge viewing windows to make the space tourists’ flight as memorable as possible, will launch from Texas on July 20.
Mr Bezos said: "Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space. I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me."
Bezos founded his Blue origin space company two decades ago and has been nbattling against fellow rich lister EL
se it’s a thing I wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me,” Bezos said in a video announcing the launch.
Bezos founded Blue Origin two decades ago. He recently expressed his great disappointment that NASA had selected SpaceX, the spaceflight venture founded by rival billionaire Elon Musk, to ferry Project Artemis astronauts to the Moon.
“NASA has executed a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System program and moved the goalposts at the last minute,” he said in a statement released through Blue Origin, and added that NASA’s decision was “high risk.”
Bezos has funded the development of Blue Origin by selling some of his shares in Amazon.
His net worth is currently believed to stand at around $186.2 billion.
Bezos announced earlier this year he would step down as chief executive of the online retail giant to focus his attention exclusively on Blue Origin.
Bezos announced on May 26 that his final day as Amazon’s chief executive would be July 5.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos said Monday on Instagram. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
In a hashtag in the post, Bezos gave a nod to the Latin phrase, “Gradatim ferociter,” which means “step by step, ferociously.”
New Shepard, Blue Origin’s rocket ship, has flown more than a dozen successful uncrewed test flights.
The system is designed to carry as many as six people at a time on a ride to the edge of space. The capsule has huge windows that give passengers a gaping view of Earth. Passengers will spend a few minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.
Jeff Bezos has amassed a massive real-estate portfolio across the US, from his home state of Washington to New York City.
A 2017 Land Report named Bezos the country's 28th-largest landowner.
In June 2019, the Amazon CEO dropped about $80 million on three adjacent New York City apartments in the priciest real-estate deal ever south of 42nd Street in New York, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller.
Last year, he purchased the Warner Estate in Beverly Hills. According to The Wall Street Journal, Bezos bought the nine-acre property for $165 million from billionaire David Geffen. It's the most expensive home ever sold in the Los Angeles area.
It's unknown how Bezos' properties were divided after his divorce from MacKenzie Bezos was finalized in July 2019. Everything acquired throughout the marriage from real estate to income is considered joint property in the Bezos' home state of Washington, as Insider's Tanza Loudenback previously reported. Amazon did not respond to Insider's request for comment on how the properties were divided after the divorce.
Bezos remains the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $188 billion, while MacKenzie Bezos is now worth over $57 billion, making her one of the richest women in the world. In February 2020, Bezos announced he was stepping down from his role as CEO of Amazon to become the company's executive chairman.
From two neighboring Beverly Hills mansions to a sprawling estate in an exclusive Seattle suburb, here are all the residential properties Bezos is known to own in the US.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has purchased a modest 100-foot schooner as he looks forward to a quieter life and hours of reflection on the open seas … LOL, just kidding.
The world's richest manis reportedly buying a boat, though that word feels inappropriately sensible for the monstrosity going to Captain Bezos: a 417-foot superyacht that's so massive it has its own "support yacht" with a helipad, according to Bloomberg. The estimated cost, not including the boat's support boat, is $500 million.
The luxury yacht's Dutch manufacturer, Oceanco, hasn't released many details about the vessel, called Project 721. The company didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Half a billion bucks is an inconceivable amount of money for most people, but it's a small fraction of the $75 billion that Bezos gained in 2020 alone. His total net worth stands just shy of $200 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Amazon ( AMZN ) stock, the primary source of Bezos' fortune, rose a staggering 75% last year as the pandemic upended consumer behavior in the company's favor — and Wall Street, flush with easy cash thanks to the Federal Reserve, piled into tech stocks.
Bezos wasn't alone: US billionaires collectively gained $1.1 trillion in 2020, making them nearly 40% richer than before the pandemic hit.
Bezos likely put his boat order in well before the pandemic, but news of his extravagant new toy is putting a spotlight on yet another industry benefiting from the stock market boom and the pandemic's disruption of social interaction.
US boat sales hit a 13-year high last year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association — safe, socially distant fun for those who can afford it. Those sales reflect more-familiar models of powerboats and other watercraft favored by mere mortals without 10-figure fortunes to their names, but the trend tracks among the yachting class as well. With no galas or lavish parties to attend, the rich are setting sail (or their crews are, anyway).
Recent quarters for superyachts have been record-breaking, one analyst told Bloomberg. Makers of extravagant yachts can barely keep up. "It's impossible to get a slot in a new-build yard," the analyst said. "They're totally booked."
In 2018, Bezos unveiled a $42 million investment in a “10,000 year” clock that’s supposed to symbolize “long-term thinking,”
The 500-foot-tall mechanical clock will be powered by day and night thermal cycles and is synchronized at solar noon.
The clock, which is still under construction, is designed to have a lifespan of 10,000 years and sits on a piece of land Bezos owns in Texas, MensXP reported.
Shortly after Bezos split from his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, he celebrated the divorce by purchasing three apartments overlooking Madison Square Park at 212 Fifth Ave. for $80 million — the largest apartment deal to ever close in the Big Apple.
However, the massive purchase still wasn’t enough for the billionaire, so he purchased a fourth apartment for $16 million so he could combine them all into one massive penthouse spanning 23,000 square feet and three stories starting from the 20th floor.
The property boasts a sprawling, 5,000-square-foot rooftop terrace complete with a pool and at least a half-dozen bedrooms.
Bezos threw down a whopping $65 million — plus an undisclosed amount when decking out the interiors — for a Gulfstream G-650ER, one of the fastest jets in the world, MensXP reported.
In 2016, Bezos decided to buy the old Washington Textile Museum for $23 million so he could convert the 27,000-square-foot building into a private home.
In purchasing the museum, he also helped to save the history it held for years to come by helping to set up a new home for the exhibits at George Washington University, MensXP reported.
In a bid to compete with grocery store giants and breathe life into Amazon’s floundering food delivery service, Amazon Fresh, Bezos decided to purchase the entire Whole Foods grocery chain for a whopping $13.7 billion.
When asked why he made the investment, the billionaire cited the store’s excellent produce and their ability to make healthy eating fun.
In a rapidly digitizing world, the long-term future of print news outlets has dimmed over the last two decades — but that didn’t stop Bezos from shelling out $250 million to buy the Washington Post to save it from extinction.
The 2013 deal made Bezos the owner of the Washington Post Co.’s flagship paper and a series of other local affiliates and websites.
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