Bezos to Divorce as Blue Origin Official Promises Human Spaceflight Early this Year

Jeff Bezos

Fox Business News asks the question that’s been on everybody’s mind in the space community this week: how will Jeff Bezos’ divorce affect his plans to liquidate $1 billion in Amazon stock annually to fund Blue Origin?

Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, did not address the financial terms of their divorce when announcing their split in a joint statement on Wednesday. TMZ reported that the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, meaning that Bezos’ assets, including 78.8 million shares of Amazon stock worth $130 billion, could be evenly divided between the pair.

It’s unclear how the potential division of assets would impact Bezos’ plans for Blue Origin or the stock sale pledge. Amazon and Blue Origin representatives did not return requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the answer to when Blue Origin will begin flying people aboard New Shepard suborbital flights isn’t much clearer, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Ariane Cornell, the head of astronaut strategy and sales at Blue Origin, spoke on a panel on Jan. 8 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum in San Diego.

“So we are aiming to fly people early in 2019, but let’s be very clear, we’ve also said this before, only when we’re ready,” she said. “Believe me if I could I would jump on top of that rocket tomorrow.”

She said that tickets are not yet available, nor has the company set a price yet.

“We haven’t determined when we’re going to sell tickets,” she said. “We are so focused right now on testing New Shepard through and through. We do have another launch coming up relatively soon, which will be a another test in terms of proving out New Shepard before we put people on board. So we’re getting there.”