Blue Origin’s month-long auction of a trip to the edge of space with billionaire founder Jeff Bezos has ended at a closing price of $28 million.
The flight aboard the New Shepard, scheduled for July 20, will be the company’s first human mission.
The winner enjoys a few minutes of microgravity exposure with Bezos, his brother Mark and another passenger before returning to Earth.
The identity of the winner is kept confidential for a few weeks. We need to complete some final paperwork, Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin astronaut sales director, said during the live broadcast.
The auction was held at the Boston, Massachusetts facility owned by RR Auction, the hosting company.
Dozens of telephone operators gathered in a room representing 20 bidders who raised the initial price of $4.8 million to $28 million in less than 10 minutes.
The company indicated that approximately 7,600 people worldwide have registered in the bidding process.
Proceeds go to the nonprofit Blue Origin Charitable Club of the Future.
Spaceflight with Jeff Bezos:
The New Shepard is a reusable 60-foot rocket designed to launch a capsule with seating for six.
The capsule is supposed to soar about 62 miles above the Earth’s surface to the edge of space, a 10-minute mission that gives passengers a microgravity experience for about three minutes.
And Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who will step down as CEO next month, announced that he is taking on the mission with his brother Mark to fulfill his lifelong dream.
The sub-orbital flight costs $28 million, which is roughly half the price of a seat on an orbital mission.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule launches its first private astronaut mission to orbit later this year. Four passengers spend nearly three days in orbit.
The Crew Dragon capsule has transported only government astronauts to the International Space Station.
Blue Origin, which has tested a fully reusable New Shepard rocket 15 times since 2015, did not specify a price for passenger seats.
Cornell said the company is reaching out to the most competitive bidders of the day to provide them access.
She explained that the fourth and final passenger will be announced soon. without indicating whether it will be an employee of Blue Origin, a competitive bidder, or any other person.