Someone was very excited to join Jeff and Mark Bezos on board Blue Origin’s first sightseeing flight July 20, it seems. The private space flight company has sold a seat aboard New Shepherd’s first manned space flight for $ 28 million through auction. Blue Origin will only name the winner in the coming weeks, but noted that nearly 7,600 people around the world have signed up for the bidding process.
All donation proceeds will go to the Blue Origin Future Club fund, which supports STEM.
There was no doubt that the seat would fetch a hefty price tag given both the ability to fly into space on a reasonably firm date with one of the world’s most influential tech leaders. There are no vague deadlines or additional rounds of tests.
However, the auction and the launch itself also represent a symbolic victory for Blue Origin. As late as the company has been on human spaceflight, it is beating both SpaceX and Galactic Virgo on space tourism – these rivals will not be carrying tourists until 2022 at the earliest. The question, of course, is whether or not Blue Origin can regularly carry revenue passengers after that first trip is over. This consistency can be a considerably greater challenge.
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