Jeff Bezos recently announced he would be joining the inaugural crew of the New Shepard into its first commercial flight to space. The auction for one flight ticket started a month ago and wrapped up last Saturday. Now, a winner and the steep price they paid for it have been revealed.
Blue Origin Capsule Ticket Auction Winner
Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace manufacturer founded by Bezos in 2000. The company recently held an auction for a seat onboard the New Shepard.
The auction came in three phases: a sealed online bidding (May 5-10), unsealed online bidding (May 19-June 10), and live auction (June 12). The winner gets to sit next to Bezos and his brother Mark inside the New Shepard for an 11-minute trip into suborbital space.
Blue Origin sales director Ariane Cornell said during a live stream of the auction that there were 7,600 registered auctioneers from 159 countries, via CNN. The event was hosted by Boston-based RR Auction.
The auction wrapped up Saturday and the highest bidder paid $28 million. The name of the winner has not been revealed yet, but Gadgets 360 said it will be released in a few days after some formalities are completed.
Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin's direct competitor, has sold tickets for space flights priced at $200,000 to $250,000 each. So far, they have already sold roughly 600 tickets. SpaceX--with their more immersive space flight experience like staying days in orbit or staying aboard the International Space Station--may very well cost as much as $55 million.
The $28 million winning bid could have also served as a litmus test to see how much the market is willing to pay for such an experience, CNN said.
The proceeds from the auction will be donated to Blue Origin's Club for the Future, a project aimed to promote science, technology, engineering and math education among young students.
The auction for the very first seat on #NewShepard has concluded with a winning bid of $28 million. The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, @ClubforFuture. Full replay of the auction webcast: https://t.co/5Vc8IvWxJR pic.twitter.com/IlGbgOFmhx— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) June 12, 2021
New Shepard Flight Details
The New Shepard is Blue Origin's reusable suborbital rocket system that is scheduled to launch from West Texas on July 20, Cnet reported.
The 60-foot rocket supports a capsule that is designed to carry six people to space. The capsule was engineered to experience a parabolic flight pattern, including launch and descent. This allows for the take-off and landing of the spacecraft to be as passenger-friendly as possible.
This flight will mark the first time humans have flown aboard the fully autonomous spaceship after 15 unscrewed test flights performed by the company since 2015, CNN added.
The goal of Blue Origin is to sell tickets for space travel to the general public. Although brief, the trip will take you 62 miles above Earth for scenic views, a zero-gravity experience, and bragging rights, of course.
Internationally, the 62-mile mark is considered the altitude boundary of outer space, CNN explains.
No official statements have announced more details regarding the flight but a live stream of the event should be expected on the day of the launch.