Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to auction off space tourism ticket
The billionaire’s company is hosting an auction for a seat on a suborbital flight in July, a first for commercial space tourism.
Blue Origin, the space company founded by Jeff Bezos, is opening a seat on its passenger spaceship in a big move for commercial space travel.
The company will auction a seat on its New Shepard spacecraft for a suborbital sightseeing trip in July.
The New Shepard, named after astronaut Alan Shepard, can fly autonomously and carry six passengers more than 100 km above Earth. It will take off and land at a base in Texas. The other five passengers are selected by Blue Origin.
The well-heeled passenger who wins the auction will be able to see the curvature of the Earth and experience weightlessness. The trip will be a key moment for the private commercial space travel industry in the race to bring revenue passengers into space.
The initial auctions will open this week and end with a live auction on June 12. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future foundation, which supports STEM careers and education.
“New Shepard flew 15 consecutive successful space missions and returned over the KÃ¡rmÃ¡n Line [the boundary between Earth and outer space] through a meticulous and progressive flight program to test its multiple redundant security systems, âthe company said in a statement.
“Now it’s time for the astronauts to get on board.”
After the July flight, Blue Origin intends to carry out more passenger flights before the end of the year.
The company hasn’t said how much space flight tickets will ultimately cost, but rough numbers in media reports over the years have suggested a price tag of at least $ 200,000.
Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, one of Blue Origin’s main rivals, has also pre-sold tickets for its own passenger flights.
In addition to commercial space travel, Blue Origin also works with agencies like NASA, but recently criticized the agency for awarding a $ 2.9 billion contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.