Bids to become the first paying customer on Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin spacecraft reach $3 million

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Bidding to be the first paying customer, Blue Origin’s New Shephard rocket reached $3 million Monday, flying alongside company founder Jeff Bezos and his brother.

According to the company’s website, the highest bid for the flight on July 20 is $3.2 million, up from $2.8 million at the end of May.

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.

Highest bid to ride Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket is now $3.2 million, up from $2.8 million at the end of May

Highest bid to ride Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is now $3.2 million, up from $2.8 million at the end of May

Bidding ends on June 12 with a live auction.  Bidders must increase their bid cap by June 10 at 5:00 PM EST to participate in the June 12 auction

Bidding ends on June 12 with a live auction. Bidders must increase their bid cap by June 10 at 5:00 PM EST to participate in the June 12 auction

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A company spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Monday it had no further updates to share regarding 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.

The new offer comes just hours after Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced that he and his brother, Mark, a former advertising executive and volunteer firefighter, will be on the New Shepard spacecraft next month, coinciding with its 52nd anniversary. of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

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.

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 two Bezos brothers - seen here in a video posted to Jeff's Instagram - will be part of a crew of six at New Shepard

The two Bezos brothers – seen here in a video posted to Jeff’s Instagram – will be part of a crew of six at New Shepard

“Since I was five years old, I have dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos posted on his Instagram account where he announced that he would be flying to space.

‘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 man, 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 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…’

While Musk has yet to comment on the news, Branson congratulated Bezos and described how their two companies are

While Musk has yet to comment on the news, Branson congratulated Bezos and described how their two companies are “opening access to space.”

All three companies have also competed for both media attention and contracts in the space tourism industry.

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.

At this altitude, passengers will experience weightlessness due to gravity and see the curvature of the planet with the darkness of space as a backdrop.

Blue Origin also recently held 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 expect, at least initially, that Blue Origin will 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.

THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin's space capsule

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Jeff Bezos’ space tourism project with Blue Origin competes with a similar program in development by Space X, the rocket company founded and run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic, backed by Richard Branson.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he funds Blue Origin with approximately $1 billion (£720 million) worth of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurized crew pod atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster missile.

Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world and Blue Origin has successfully used a single New Shepard Rocket six times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometers), just above the official space threshold, and landed vertically seven minutes after launch.

Manned missions for astronauts or tourists have yet to be announced.

SpaceX appears to be leading the billionaire space race with numerous launches bringing NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.

On February 6, 2018, SpaceX sent a rocket to Mars orbit, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached.

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts to be aboard the first manned Dragon mission.

SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network.

Musk hopes this will spawn an interconnected web of satellites around Earth that will beam free internet to people around the world.

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic take a different approach to conquering space.

It has repeatedly and successfully conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity spaceplane.

The first took place in December 2018 and the last took place on February 22.

The flight accelerated to over 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7).

More than 600 affluent clients, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips,

The billionaire tycoon has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket company SpaceX.

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic vessel

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic vessel

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one on the side and one above the head.

The spaceship is 60 ft long with a 90-inch diameter cabin, giving the astronauts maximum space to float in weightlessness.

It climbs to 50,000 feet before the rocket motor ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier, White Knight II, once it has passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become “astronauts” when they reach the Karman line, the limit of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The spacecraft will then make a suborbital journey with about six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight taking about 1.5 hours.

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