Blue Origin’s aim is to lower the cost of access to space, Jeff Bezos said during a surprise appearance at Wired’s 25th anniversary conference.

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos provides the keynote address at the Air Force Association’s Annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Oxen Hill, MD, on September 19, 2018.

Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicts we’ll have 1 trillion humans in the solar system one day — and he laid out Monday how the rocket company plans to help get there.

“I won’t be alive to see the fulfillment of that long-term mission,” Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. “We are starting to bump up against the absolute true fact that Earth is finite.”

Blue Origin’s aim is to lower the cost of access to space, Bezos said. He will spend a “little more” than $1 billion next year to support Blue Origin, he said.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on why Blue Origin is his ‘most important work’

“The dynamism that I have seen over the last 20 years in the internet where incredible things have happened in really short periods of time,” Bezos said. “We need thousands of companies. We need the same dynamism in space that we’ve seen online over the last 20 years. And we can do that.”

Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are also eyeing commercial space travel. The effort is “the most important thing” that Bezos is working on, he said, edging out e-commerce site Amazon and the Bezos-owned Washington Post.

Tech companies can’t ‘turn their back’ on the DOD

Last week, the U.S. Air Force selected Blue Origin and others to develop a domestic launch system prototype. The Pentagon deal awards Blue Origin $500 million for the development of the New Glenn rocket.

“We are going to continue to support the [Department of Defense],” Bezos said. “If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the U.S. Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble.”


Bezos: Amazon to continue supporting Defense Dept.

Tech employees across Silicon Valley have been rejecting government defense contracts in recent months. Executives at Google, Microsoft and others have had to address the controversy.

“I know everybody’s very conflicted about the current politics in this country and so on. This country is a gem,” Bezos said. “This is a great country. And it does need to be defended.”