Jeff Bezos wins billionaire space race: Amazon founder announces he and his brother will fly to the edge of space next MONTH on a Blue Origin spacecraft, defeating rivals Richard Branson and Elon Musk
- Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark fly to New Shepard on July 20 with four others
- Blue Origin offers a seat on the vehicle to the public via an online bid
- The six passengers will float in space for at least 10 minutes without gravity gravity
Outgoing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced that he and his brother Mark will fly on New Shepard, a Blue Origin spacecraft, when it launches on July 20.
Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000, flies alongside Mark and the winner of an online auction, who has bid at least $2.8 million for their seat.
The 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.
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
“Since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos posted on his Instagram account.
‘On July 20 I will make that trip with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.’
The flight date is just 15 days after Bezos resigned as CEO of Amazon, a company he founded in his garage in 1994.
In a short video announcement, he said, “I want to go on this flight because it’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s very important to me.’
The two Bezos brothers will be part of a crew of six at New Shepard, along with the highest bidder from the public auction. The remaining places are taken by Blue Origin employees.
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos (pictured) founded Blue Origin in the year 2000
According to the company’s website, the public’s highest bid for the exclusive spot is $2.8 million. It has remained at this figure since the end of May.
Blue Origin closed the first round of the auction last month, saying it had received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries, without announcing the round’s highest bid.
Until June 10 (the second phase), the bidding will be unsealed and visible to everyone online. Bidding will close on June 12 with a live online auction.
The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.
The highest bid to ride the New Shepard rocket is now $2.8 million, as seen in this shot from Blue Origin’s website
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 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 while spending 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.