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Jeff Bezos Will Sell $1 Billion of Amazon Stock a Year to Fund Blue Origin

Given Amazon's value, he sure can afford it.

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Space travel is no easy feat -- and it comes at a price. Just ask Amazon founder and CEO, Washington Post owner and founder of space company Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

At the 33rd Space Symposium Conference on Wednesday, Bezos revealed that he is selling $1 billion of Amazon stock a year to fund Blue Origin. With 80.9 million shares and a 16.95 percent stake in the company, Bezos is the largest shareholder at Amazon, reports Reuters. To meet his funding pledge, the Amazon founder will have to sell more than 1 million of those shares a year.

Related: Jeff Bezos Becomes World's Second Richest Person

Although for Bezos, this is almost pocket change -- over the past two years, Amazon’s stock has nearly tripled and with a market cap of $439.8 billion today, the company is more valuable than Walmart, Target, Costco, Macy’s and Kohl’s combined.

With Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic -- competition is high for entrepreneurs and leaders in the privately-funded space race, each looking to create reusable aircrafts and begin promoting life off Earth.

Bezos’s goal for Blue Origin is to offer paying passengers 11-minute commercial flights to space. And, “ultimately, the plan is for Blue Origin to become a profitable, self-sustaining enterprise, with a long-term goal to cut the cost of spaceflight so that millions of people can live and work off Earth,” Bezos said.

Related: Jeff Bezos Knows the Difference Between Content and Complacent

Although tickets aren’t for sale yet, the company could start offering rides on its six-passenger New Shepard capsule as early as next year. Pictures of the rocket were revealed last week, and for an estimated $300,000 a ticket you may be able to enjoy a trip to outer space. With reclined seats and large open windows, the New Shepard can carry people 100 miles above Earth to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and breathtaking views of Earth’s curvature. The current project, which includes the development of its New Glenn launch system, will cost an estimated $2.5 billion.

Rose Leadem

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Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com.