Bidding for a seat on Blue Origin’s New Shephard rocket alongside Jeff Bezos and his brother reached $4.5 million Thursday as the second phase of the online auction draws to a close.
According to the company’s website, the highest bid to ride on the July 20 flight is currently $4.5 million, more than $1 million more than Monday’s high bid of $3.2 million.
The identity of the highest bidder is not yet known and will not be known until the bidding ends on June 12, culminating in a live auction.
Bidders must increase their bid cap by June 10 at 5:00 PM EST to participate in the June 12 auction.
The highest bid to ride on the July 20 flight is currently $4.5 million, more than a million dollars more than Monday’s high bid of $3.2 million
“Since I was five years old, I have dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos (pictured) said in an Instagram post announcing that he would fly to space.
A spokesperson for Blue Origin told DailyMail.com on Monday it had no further updates to share on the number of bidders or where they came from.
DailyMail.com had previously reported that there were more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries.
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he and his brother, Mark, a former advertising executive and volunteer firefighter, will be on the New Shepard spacecraft next month, coinciding with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
“Since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos said in a video announcement on his Instagram account.
‘On July 20 I will make that trip with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.’
The other three passengers on the New Shephard flight are Sian Proctor, an Arizona community college teacher, Chris Sembroski, a former Washington Air Force missile operator, and Hayley Arceneaux, an assistant physician at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. .
The six passengers will float in weightlessness in the capsule for at least 10 minutes during the suborbital sightseeing trip.
Blue Origin, based in Washington state, is largely self-funded by Bezos, which has sold more than $1 billion worth of shares in Amazon annually to fund the company.
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he and his brother Mark will be on the New Shepard spacecraft next month.
Blue Origin named the New Shepard program after astronaut Alan Shepard, who exactly 60 years ago became the first American to fly into space.
Blue Origin, based in Washington state, is largely self-funded by Bezos, which sells more than $1 billion worth of shares in Amazon annually to fund the company.
By sending tourists to space, Bezos has beaten Richard Branson and Elon Musk and their companies, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.
While Musk has yet to comment on the news, Branson has congratulated Bezos and described how their two companies are “opening up access to space.”
He tweeted: “Congratulations to @jeffbezos and his brother Mark on announcing space flight plans. Jeff started building Blue Origin in 2000, we started building Virgin Galactic in 2004 and now both are opening access to space – how extraordinary! View this space…’
Founded in 2000, Blue Origin touts itself as a means of providing cheaper access to space through the use of reusable rockets, most notably the New Shepard which has flown 15 times.
The rocket’s sole mission is to take tourists to space, who would travel in a sleek, white capsule on top of the vehicle.
The capsule is designed with the iconic Blue Origin spring on the outside and on the inside there are six reclining seats that resemble those in a helicopter.
Blue Origin’s plans are to send tourists 62 miles above the Earth’s surface and spend at least 10 minutes in orbit.
The company also recently conducted its first astronaut rehearsal in preparation for sending the first manned New Shepard into space.
The fake crew traveled the designated path of future spacefaring tourists, which included traveling to the launch pad and climbing the tower to the passenger capsule.
While the celebrities and the very wealthy appear to be a core market for aerospace forays, industry sources, at least initially, expect Blue Origin to add a philanthropic component to its ticketing strategy.
The idea of sending paying customers to the edge of space was once just a plot in science fiction movies, but many companies other than Blue Origin are making the epic journey a reality.
A college professor and a space data analyst are among a four-member crew for an orbit launch planned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX later this year, as part of a charity drive heralded as the first all-civilian spaceflight in history.
Virgin Galactic aims to start flying with private customers by early 2022, after a first flight with Branson on board later this year.
Its zero-gravity experience is anchored by its SpaceShipTwo aircraft, and the company has ambitious plans to offer point-to-point travel between distant cities at near-space heights.
Virgin says it will charge more than $250,000 for new reservations, but has not announced final pricing. The sale will reopen after Branson’s flight.