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Jeff Bezos is the only human on Earth who could unload more than $1.8 billion worth of stock and still remain the world's richest person.

On Wednesday, Bezos sold roughly 960,000 Amazon shares, according to the company's regulatory filings. Much of his newly liquidated cash is expected to fund his aerospace company Blue Origin. Historically, Bezos has poured roughly $1 billion per year into Blue Origin--and he appears to be almost doubling that figure this year.

That's likely because Blue Origin is ramping up its commercial operations. In May, the company announced a new rocket engine and successfully completed a test launch of its space-tourism vehicle. And on Tuesday, NASA announced partnerships with both Blue Origin and SpaceX to help the federal agency return to the moon.

For its part, SpaceX is also ramping up operations in 2019. Since May, SpaceX has launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, caught a rocket's nose cone as it fell from space with a giant net-wielding boat, and successfully reused multiple rockets and capsules for multiple trips to the International Space Station (a key part of the company's cost-cutting mission).

While Bezos owns Blue Origin and has been pouring a consistent amount of money into it, he's not the company's CEO. When there's something visionary to say about Blue Origin's progress, Bezos is the guy in the spotlight. But the rest of time? Well, he appears to be busy with his day job. (Can you name Blue Origin's CEO without looking it up? I'll give you four paragraphs to guess.)

Meanwhile, Elon Musk has seemingly been pouring every ounce of his energy into SpaceX and its subsidiary, The Boring Company. And Tesla. And Neuralink. If his tweets are any indication, he's involved in the day-to-day operations of each--and he shares every single success and failure, no matter how big or small.

Think about your own perceptions of the companies. SpaceX probably seems the higher-profile venture, because Musk puts it in the news as often as he can. I'm guessing you know less about Blue Origin, but just about everything you've heard has been positive.

Two different messaging strategies. Two very different messengers. One modern-day space race. I'm ready to start taking bets on who will win.

And, by the way, 10 points to whoever guessed correctly: Blue Origin's CEO is named Bob Smith.

Published on: Aug 2, 2019