Bidding for the first journey on Blue Origin’s suborbital spaceship exceeds $2 million
BY ALAN BOYLE on May 19, 2021 at 7:18 am
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture has begun unsealing the bids for an open seat on its New Shepard suborbital spaceship, and the high bid hit the $2.8 million mark with more than three weeks to go in the online auction.
Blue Origin says the auction has drawn out more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries — including yours truly, who most definitely does not have the high bid. Bidding started on May 5 and will conclude with a live auction on June 12. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Blue Origin’s educational foundation, the Club for the Future.
The winner will fill one of the six seats on New Shepard’s first crewed flight to the edge of space from Blue Origin’s West Texas spaceport, currently scheduled for July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The other seats will presumably be set aside for Blue Origin employees or VIPs.
Passengers on the autonomously controlled New Shepard craft would experience a minutes-long shot of weightlessness and an astronaut’s-eye view of the curving Earth beneath the black sky of space. At the end of the ride, New Shepard’s crew capsule would make a soft landing with the aid of a parachute and a retrorocket blast, while the booster would make a separate autonomous touchdown.