Elon Musk’s SpaceX may be the buzziest name in private space exploration, but the Tesla CEO isn’t the only mega-rich entrepreneur with grand visions for a future beyond Earth. The race to space has got more intense as Amazon founder and fellow centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos announced his space odyssey for his space company, Blue Origin.
Rocket New Shepard launch to usher in space tourism
Blue Origin will launch its first astronaut crew to space on July 20, flying on its space tourism rocket called New Shepard. The buzz that has raised a storm is that Jeff Bezos will fly to space with his brother, Mark on Blue Origin’s first human flight on July 20, the aerospace firm said in a statement.
A sealed online auction that ran until May 19, 2021, got bids that went up to $50,000 – with the company requiring additional identification information and a $10,000 deposit for higher bids. Then, from May 19th onward, Blue Origin held a public bidding process – before a final live online auction on June 12 for this journey.
New Shepard is designed to carry six people at a time on a ride past the edge of space. The capsules on previous test flights reached an altitude of more than 340,000 feet (or more than 100 kilometers). The capsule has massive windows to give passengers a view, spending a few minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend,” Bezos wrote in an Instagram post.
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The winning bidder also to join the space trip
The Bezos brothers will join the auction winner of the very first seat on New Shepard. The three-phased auction commenced on May 5 with sealed online bidding. It will conclude on June 12 with a live online auction on the company’s website.
The aerospace company said that the auction bidding is already at $2.8 million, with nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries. The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future. Blue Origin’s first human flight will be a major landmark for the company that is competing with other aerospace firms such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic in the commercial space industry.