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Bezos is selling $1 billion of Amazon stock a year to fund rocket venture

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday he is selling about $1 billion (801.80 million pounds) worth of Amazon stock per year to fund his Blue Origin rocket company, and expects to spend about $2.5 billion developing a rocket capable of lifting satellites and eventually people into orbit.

Blue Origin is aiming to launch paying passengers on 11-minute suborbital space rides next year, Bezos told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium here.

(Reporting By Irene Klotz; Editing by Joseph White and Chris Reese)