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Bezos' Space Company Donates $19 Million to Charity Ahead of Space Flight

Blue Origin doled out the grants through its foundation called Club for the Future.

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It’s five days out from Jeff Bezos’ long-anticipated flight into space.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Ahead of the billionaire’s voyage out of the atmosphere, his space company, Blue Origin, announced that it made massive $1 million grants to space-based non-profit organizations — 19 of them to be specific.

The company doled out the grants through its foundation called Club for the Future, which aims to continue developing the future of space exploration as well as inspiring younger people to pursue careers in STEM.

Blue Origin recently held a highly publicized auction for a seat alongside Bezos on the July 20th flight on the company’s New Shepard rocket ship, which sold to a still-anonymous bidder for a cool $28 million.

Related: Blue Origin Is Challenging SpaceX's Artemis Lander Contract From NASA

Those funds went directly to Club for the Future and are now being used for the $19 million in grants.

“This donation is enabling Club for the Future to rapidly expand its reach by partnering with 19 organizations to develop and inspire the next generation of space professionals,” Bob Smith, Blue Origin CEO, said in a statement. “Our generation will build the road to space and these efforts will ensure the next generation is ready to go even further.”

Among the 19 organizations receiving donations are the Space for Art Foundation, the National Space Society and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

The company said that the organization's chosen recipients “enhance Club for the Future’s ability to reach students, teachers, and communities, and to engage them in the excitement and adventure of innovation and space exploration.”

Related: Following the Successful Takeoff and Landing of the New Shepard Rocket, Jeff Bezos Is Hot on Elon Musk's Heels

Blue Origin says rest of the money from the auction will remain within the foundation and be used to fund its programs including Postcards to Space, which allows people to write or draw on a postcard that gets flown to space and stamped when it returns.

Bezos, who founded Blue Origin, recently stepped down as Amazon CEO. His last day was July 5.

He said earlier that this year, he plans to focus his “energies and attention on new products and early initiatives," one of which is presumably space exploration.

He will take flight alongside his brother, Mark Bezos, as well as Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk and the anonymous auction winner in a trip expected to last 11 minutes.

Emily Rella

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media, covering entertainment, pop culture, lifestyle, entrepreneuership and business. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native.