CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – An auction for next month ends the space with Jeff Bezos and his brother in space with a $ 28 million win on Saturday.
Amazon’s rocket company Blue Origin did not disclose the name of the winner after the live online auction. The identity will be revealed in a few weeks – closer to the short up-and-down flight from West Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing.
This is the first launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket with people on board, which will launch the company’s space tourism industry. Fifteen previous test flights of the reusable rocket and capsule since 2015 – short hops that lasted about 10 minutes – were all successful.
Saturday’s auction followed more than a month of online bidding for $ 4.8 million. According to Blue Origin, more than 7,500 people from 159 countries have registered to bid. More than 20 bidders – the high rollers – took part in Saturday’s auction.
Bezos announced Monday that he and his younger brother, Mark, would be aboard New Shepard’s first crew flight; the news quickly increased the bid. The winning amount is donated to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future, an educational effort to promote science and technology among young people.
The fully automated capsule can carry up to six passengers, each with their own large window. Ariane Cornell, top sales director at Blue Origin, said after the auction that the fourth and final seat on the debut flight would be announced soon.
Blue Origin has yet to announce ticket sales to the public or announce prices.
By Marcia Dunn