SEATTLE, Washington: Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos will fly to space next month on the first human flight launched by his rocket company Blue Origin, he said on Monday (Jun 7).
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of travelling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother,” Bezos said in an Instagram post.
Blue Origin said Bezos and his brother Mark will travel on the first crewed flight of the company’s New Shepard capsule.
The trip will last a total of 10 minutes. Passengers will spend four minutes above the Karman line that marks the recognised boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.
The company is auctioning off the third spot on the spacecraft. Bidding is currently at US$2.8 million with nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries.
The process will last until Jun 10 and conclude in a final phase on Jun 12, with a live online auction.
The company is targeting Jul 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip on its spacecraft, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.
Reuters reported in 2018 that Blue Origin was planning to charge passengers at least US$200,000 for the ride, based on an appraisal of rival plans from billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings and other considerations, though its thinking may have changed.
The reusable suborbital rocket system was named after Alan Shepard, the first American in space 60 years ago.
The proceeds from the auction will go to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which aims to inspire future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.