Blue Origin, the commercial space flight company of Jeff Bezos, the richest person on the planet and owner of Amazon, has concluded a live auction for the first seat aboard his new spacecraft called New Shepard.
The tender began with an initial $ 4.8 million to reach the final $ 28 million, in just under seven minutes. “How exciting that was! $ 28 million! " exclaimed Ariane Cornell, director of orbital sales for Blue Origin, just after the auction concluded. "The entire Blue Origin team is eager to meet our first customer."
The total payment for the seat, including the buyer's premium of six percent, will be $ 29,680,000, the amount of the winning bid, which will be donated to the non-profit Blue Origin Foundation, Club for the Future, which aims to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and "help invent the future of life in space."
The highest bidder, whom Blue Origin said it will identify later, won the opportunity to join Bezos, his brother Mark and a passenger yet to be named at the New Shepard launch scheduled for July 20. with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The anonymous buyer will make history by being one of the first space tourists to fly just above the 100-kilometer-high Kármán line, the international line and recognized boundary that separates the atmosphere from Earth from outer space.
The flight, which will take a total of 10 to 12 minutes, will begin from Blue Origin launch site one near Van Horn in West Texas. After takeoff and a 2-minute 45-second climb, the New Shepard crew capsule will separate from the rocket propulsion module at about 67 km and then continue to ascend to more than 328,000 feet (100 km).
The capsule will then fall back to Earth, deploying its parachutes to slow its return. The flight ends with a landing near where the New Shepard was launched. The July 20 flight will mark the New Shepard's 16th flight, after 15 unmanned test flights. It will be the third use of the RSS (Reusable Spaceship) "First Step".
Conditions to do space flight
To be eligible to fly, the winning bidder must be at least 18 years old, between 5 feet and 6 feet, 4 inches tall (152 and 193 cm), weigh between 110 and 223 pounds. (50 and 101 kg) and being able to climb the New Shepard launch tower, seven flights of stairs, in less than 90 seconds.
The winner must also be able to sustain up to three times the force of gravity for up to two minutes and be able to reliably follow instructions by radio contact or warning lights. Before the flight, the highest bidder will have to sign a liability waiver and receive training, when Blue Origin will assess their ability to fly (the company will not make a judgment on the person's medical condition, and will refer to a doctor at the location of the flight. winner. expenses).
Blue Origin kicked off today's auction on May 5, initially accepting sealed bids through its website. Working with RR Auction, a Boston-based firm that specializes in space exploration artifacts, the bidders were individually vetted and asked to deposit $ 10,000.
On May 19, the online tender was made public, with an opening of $ 1.4 million. The offer increased to $ 2.8 million in one day and then remained there until Monday, June 7, when Bezos announced that he and his brother would join the winner on the flight. Then a new round of bidding brought the price to $ 4.8 million, where today's live auction began.
Blue Origin said the auction attracted the interest of nearly 7,600 people from 159 countries. The company did not disclose the total number of qualified bidders or how many bids were made. The price of seats on future New Shepard flights has yet to be announced. Blue Origin has said that the highest bidders who did not win the auction will be among the first to have access to future seats.