Blue Origin is about to reveal the highest bid made during the initial special phase of the auction for the first space tourist seat, the company's first-ever manned flight onboard its New Shepard rocket is slated to take off on July 20, and will transport the crew to about 62 miles. Above Earth, the launch-to-landing test takes about 10 minutes, according to DigitalTrends.
Blue Origin began its auction on May 5 and on May 19, it will reveal its highest bid to date.
The bidding process will then be announced, as participants must skip the highest bid to get a chance to win the first tourist seat for their upcoming July trip.
The final phase of the auction will take place on June 12 with a live online session that may see bidders cut big money as they vie for the coveted seat.
Proceeds from the winning bid will go to Blue Origin's Club for the Future, which aims to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help create the future of life in space.
The first space tourist at Blue Origin will undergo training prior to the sub-orbital space adventure in July, although it should not be very demanding as the flight itself will mostly involve sitting in a seat, floating slightly when they reach the Karman Line (an altitude of about 62 miles is generally considered General Space Edge), enjoying the stunning views, and finally getting ready inside the capsule to land with the help of a parachute.
The mission will take place at the Blue Origin spaceport in West Texas, the site of 14 successful test flights over the past six years using the company's new reusable Shepherd missile.
Assuming the first manned flight is going according to plan, Blue Origin, led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, can quickly move towards launching regular tours using the same transportation system.
The company competes with the likes of Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, although the latter uses more sophisticated launch vehicles and will provide longer orbital experiences for space tourists, the first SpaceX tourism mission is set to begin on September 15th, Virgin Galactic, which is still testing its devices, has unveiled. Recently, a new space plane for its upcoming service
Blue Origin has yet to reveal pricing for space tourism services, although it previously said it will be priced competitively, meaning that the seat will likely cost around $ 250,000 because that's what Virgin Galactic charges for a similar experience.