2016-09-15

Jeff Bezos to donate $250K Heinlein Prize to SEDS student space leaders organization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced yesterday that he would donate his $250,000 prize to Students for Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-USA).

In recognition of his recent accomplishments in commercial space activities, Bezos won the Heinlein Prize and a quarter of a million dollars in winnings. He was president of his SEDS chapter during his time at Princeton University.

While offered annually, the Heinlein Prize has only been awarded three times in its history. PayPal and SpaceX founder Elon Musk won the Heinlein Prize in 2011, and Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of X-PRIZE Foundation and SEDS-USA, won the inaugural Heinlein Prize in 2006.

Current plans would allocate most of the donation to the SEDS-USA endowment fund – a memorial fund dedicated to Darrell D. Cain – so that the money can impact generations of students to come. This plan is pending approval from Jeff Bezos, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Directors.

“Everyone at SEDS is really excited about the news,” SEDS-USA Chair Andrew Newman said. “Jeff Bezos’ generous gift is going to make an immediate impact as we gear up for our 2016 SpaceVision conference, as well as a lasting impact for our 60 chapters and 2,000 student members nationwide. We thank Jeff Bezos for this gift and we pledge to make the 2016 SpaceVision conference the best yet.”

SEDS-USA, whose purpose is to promote space exploration and development through educational and technical projects, is the largest student organization of future space leaders. SEDS-USA is a national 501(c)3 non-profit with the goal of empowering students to participate and make an impact in space exploration.

For all press inquiries, interview requests, and more information, contact Chelsey Ballarte at Press@seds.org.

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Andrew Newman
Chair, SEDS-USA
(703) 774-5047
Andrew.Newman@seds.org

John Conafay
Executive Director, SEDS-USA
(240) 486-0803
John.Conafay@seds.org

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