An auction winner paid more than $ 28 million for an 11-minute ride into space with Jeff Bezos on a reusable rocket launched by his space company Blue Origin.
Nearly 7,600 people from 159 countries have registered to bid on the flight aboard the New Shepard – the first to carry passengers – which is expected to depart from West Texas on July 20. In addition to the unidentified bidder and Mr. Bezos, the passengers will also include Mr. Bezos’ brother, Mark Bezos, and a fourth as yet unnamed astronaut. The auction winner’s name will be released in about two weeks, according to a video on Blue Origin’s website.
The auctioned ticket cost $ 28 million, but the winner will also have to pay a 6 percent buyer’s commission, bringing the total cost to nearly $ 30 million. The month-long auction took place in three phases – the first, with online bids where bids were not visible, ended on May 19 for $ 1.4 million. When the online bids became visible, the ticket reached $ 4.8 million, the price at which live online bidding began.
Proceeds from the winning ticket will be donated to the Blue Origin Foundation Club for the Future, a science and education charity that aims to “inspire future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, and math” and increase interest in space exploration wake up.
Blue Origins The rocket is named after Alan Shepard, the first American to fly into space in 1961. The vehicle has completed 15 test flights, none with passengers.
New Shepard is said to take six people on short suborbital flights – over the 62-mile altitude commonly considered the edge of space, but then come back down immediately instead of accelerating to the high speeds required to enter Orbit are required.
Passengers will arrive for training before takeoff. According to the video, the passenger capsule sits on top of the booster – they part at an altitude of about 250,000 feet, but they continue their ascent. At about 350,000 feet, or about 10 times higher than normal commercial jet flights, passengers can unbuckle their seatbelts for three minutes in weightlessness. Then they are asked to buckle up and their descent is guided by three parachutes, according to the video.
Blue Origin’s biggest competitors in private rocket science, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, have both announced a series of trips.
In February, Mr Bezos said he would step down as CEO of Amazon on July 5. Andy Jassy, head of Amazon’s cloud computing division, will become chief executive, while Mr. Bezos will become executive chairman. Mr Bezos said he wanted to put more time and energy into his other passions, including Blue Origin.
“I want to take this flight because I’ve wanted to do it all my life,” said Mr Bezos in a video on the Blue Origin website. “It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me. “