For Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos gets Heinlein Prize and a sword – then gives away $250K


Jeff Bezos (center) shows off a sword that serves as part of the Heinlein Prize, as XPRIZE co-founder Peter Diamandis (right) takes the selfie and Art Dula (left), trustee for the Heinlein Prize Trust, looks on. (Credit: Peter Diamandis via Twitter)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos received one of the spaceflight community’s richest honors, the Heinlein Prize, during a ceremony in the nation’s capital on Wednesday night. The prize includes a $250,000 cash award … and a sword that evokes one of Robert A. Heinlein’s sci-fi stories.

Bezos hung onto the sword, but he’s donating the $250,000 to an nonprofit group known as the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

The prize was handed out by representatives of the late science-fiction writer’s family trust to recognize Bezos’ work with Blue Origin, the space venture he founded. Past recipients include Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX; and Peter Diamandis, who co-founded the XPRIZE program as well as Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

SEDS, a 36-year-old student organization that promote global space efforts, tweeted that Bezos’ gift comes as “fantastic news”:

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