"If you have to ask how much it costs, then you probably can't afford it," is what I used to hear about millionaires' yachts when I was growing up. Now, perhaps we need to add billionaires' rockets to that list, too!
While yachts and private jets used to the ultimate status symbols of the ultra rich, now it seems there's a space race among today's wealthiest. Consider this: Sir Richard Branson has Virgin Galactic and Pay Pal founder and Tesla owner Elon Musk has SpaceX. Yesterday's launch of the newest rocket on the block marks the entry of another high-profile tech CEO getting into the space race.
51-year-old Jeff Bezos is estimated to be worth more than $38 billion. So his 2013 purchase of the venerable Washington Post newspaper for a "mere" $250 million hardly put a dent on his debit card. Now the self-made founder of Amazon is setting his sights well beyond online shopping and newspapers. Bezos is shooting for the stars, or more accurately, the edge of space.
Bezos' rocket company is Blue Origin and the company's most advanced space vehicle is known as New Shepard. Here he is inspecting New Shepard’s West Texas launch facility before the rocket’s maiden voyage.