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Why Jeff Bezos passed up a trip to the moon

Image: Bezos and Boyle
Billionaire Jeff Bezos watches a replay of a New Shepard suborbital test flight with GeekWire’s Alan Boyle at the Space Symposium. (Credit: Tom Kimmell Photography, Courtesy of Space Foundation)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his chance to go into space in a Russian Soyuz capsule – and not just into space, but around the moon. But he says he’d rather taste the final frontier in a spaceship built by his own company, Blue Origin.

Bezos touched on what it would take for spaceflight, including what he’s done to prepare for the experience, during my informal chat with him in front of hundreds of attendees here today at the 32nd Space Symposium.

The Blue Origin space venture was created back in 2000, six years after Bezos founded Amazon, so that he could pursue his childhood dream of going into outer space – a dream that goes back to watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.

Bezos noted that his high-school girlfriend, Ursula Werner, has been quoted as saying Amazon exists “solely to create money for Blue Origin.”

“I can neither confirm nor deny that,” he joked.

But he did confirm that he’s undergone some training for spaceflight – not under zero-G conditions in an airplane, as many people have done, but in a centrifuge at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. “If you’re subject to motion sickness, you might not want to do that,” he said.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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