Jeff Bezos wants to see the space industry expand to the scale of today's internet industry, creating a "completely new world."
And he's spending quite a bit to make it happen.
The Amazon founder and CEO also founded Blue Origin, a reusable rocket company that builds on Bezos' childhood dreams of space colonization. While the company will one day be a "thriving enterprise," Bezos joked it's going to be a long road. One of the company's rockets, New Glenn, will cost at least $2.5 billion, Bezos said.
"My business model right now for Blue Origin is I sell about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock and use it to invest in Blue Origin," Bezos said.
Bezos appeared on Wednesday at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, where he said he would reveal more details on a rocket his start-up hopes will take paying customers to space by 2018.
He said he'll apply some of the lessons he learned at Amazon, especially when it comes to bringing down costs and gauging customer demand.
"Of course, we'll be just as competitive," Bezos said. "But how do you compete? When people say that an entrant is disruptive in an industry, what they really mean is that customers are adopting that new way. At Amazon we've had a lot of inventions that we were very excited about and customers didn't care at all. And believe me, those inventions were not disruptive in any way. The only thing that's disruptive is customer adoption. If you can invent a better way, and customers believe that's a better way, then they will use it. And that's what we're trying to do at Blue Origin."
Start-ups like Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX have joined more traditional companies in the space race in recent years. But despite his competitive spirit, Bezos said he's not thinking it of a sprint to the finish line.
"I always remind the team is that we are not racing," Bezos said. "We are going to test it. We will put humans on this when it is ready and not a second sooner...It's a mistake to race to a deadline when you're talking about a flying vehicle, especially one you're going to put people on."