Blue Origin is auctioning New Shepard with Jeff Bezos for $ 28 million
Blue Origin’s month-long auction for a trip to the edge of space with billionaire founder Jeff Bezos ended on Saturday with a closing price of $ 28 million. The flight aboard New Shepard, scheduled for July 20, will mark the company’s first mission on flying humans, in which the successful bidder will enjoy approximately 10 minutes of microgravity with Bezos, his brother Mark and a other passenger before returning to shore.
The identity of the winner was not disclosed – “we have to fill out the final papers with them,” Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin’s director of astronaut sales, said during the live broadcast. Dozens of telephone operators were gathered in a warehouse representing 20 bidders, which took the starting price from $ 4.8 million to $ 28 million in less than 10 minutes. Proceeds will go to the nonprofit Club For The Future of Blue Origin.
“The more you pay for it, the more you appreciate it,” the auctioneer said at one point.
New Shepard is a 60-foot-tall reusable rocket designed to fire a gumball-shaped capsule with seats approximately 62 miles above the ground to the edge of space, giving passengers a 10 minutes in microgravity. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon who will step down as CEO next month, announced last Monday that he will undertake the same mission with his brother Mark to fulfill his lifelong dream.
The $ 28 million price tag for suborbital travel is about half the price of a seat in an orbital mission. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which has only transported government astronauts to the International Space Station, will launch its first private astronaut mission into orbit later this year, with four passengers spending about three days in orbit.