Blue Origin’s first space tourist flight takes off on July 20

After years of development and more than a handful of delays along the way, Blue origin consider trying the first official flight of his New Shepard spaceship July 20. The company will offer a seat to the highest bidder in an online auction that begins today. Until May 19, anyone can visit Blue Origin website and place a private bid. After that date, the company will unseal the bids, allowing all parties involved to see how much money is at stake. The whole process will end on June 12 with a live auction to determine the seat winner. . The company will donate the funds it raises to its STEM-focused foundation, Club for the future.

Provided everything goes as planned on July 20, the company’s New Shepard autonomous rocket will carry six passengers 62 miles (or just under 100 km) above the Earth’s surface in suborbital space. Those who fly will not be able to circle the planet, but they will experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth before returning to the ground. Notably, Jeff Bezos and his company did not say how much they plan to charge for New Shepard tickets once the flights become a regular event.

Blue Origin won’t be the only rocket company carrying civilian astronauts into space this year. As part of a charity flight to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft take four ordinary people in orbit later this year.

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