Jeff Bezos wants to move industry to space and zone Earth as residential.

When Jeff Bezos laughs, it comes from deep within. It’s a hearty laugh that starts at the belly and rises up.

The reaction doesn’t come often—the Amazon AMZN -0.18% founder and chief executive is far too analytical for that. But when it does, watch out.

On Tuesday night, Bezos told an audience of technologists at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. why Blue Origin, his mysterious spaceflight company, carries so much potential.

He spent several minutes outlining his desire to develop outer space. Humans should move heavy industrial facilities off the planet and into space, Bezos argued, where energy from the sun is limitless and available around the clock. Earth instead ought to be “rezoned” for residential and light commercial use.

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