Jeff Bezos announced in February 2021 that he was resigning as Chief Executive Officer of the online retail giant he launched 27 years ago. He said he would remain executive chairman of Amazon but would devote more time to "passions" such as his private space firm Blue Origin and the Bezos Earth Fund.

What is 'Blue Origin'?

  1. Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin in the year 2000, headquartered in Kent, Washington.
  2. Blue Origin, yet to launch anything into orbit, has launched and landed its suborbital rocket, New Shepard, more than a dozen times.
  3. It aims to complete the development of its much bigger workhorse orbital rocket, New Glenn, by this year.
  4. Blue Origin's Blue Moon lunar-Lander project was awarded $579 million in April 2020 by NASA.
  5. Blue Origin is currently testing its New Shepard booster and capsule spaceship that aims to take space tourists aboard by April this year.

Flashback

  1. Bezos is not the only tycoon who has expanded his sights beyond Earth's orbit.
  2. Richard Branson, 70, founder of the Virgin Group, also has a spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic, and is seeking to make space tourism affordable.
  3. Both Bezos and Branson, however, have been left in the dust when it comes to space by another billionaire -- South African-born Elon Musk, the world's second-richest man.
  4. Musk 49, made his first major fortune when PayPal was sold to eBay in 2002 and went on to launch the electric car company Tesla and solar power company SolarCity.
  5. SpaceX became the first private company to launch humans into space last year when it sent two astronauts to the ISS.