Blue Origin will soon launch its first space tourism rocket voyage. Inside a capsule atop its New Shepard booster will be none other than Amazon founder and Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos, his brother, Mark, and the highest bidder at an online auction this weekend.
The charity auction for the coveted seat actually began last month, with the current bid rising from $2.8 million to $4 million in the past few days. The identities of the bidders have not been made public.
The current phase of the auction will end on Thursday, June 10, with the final auction event taking place on Saturday, June 12, with the previous highest bidders having a chance to make their final offer.
Blue Origin will livestream Saturday’s auction, so if you want to see how prepared someone is for the company’s first crewed, suborbital space trip, read on for details on how to watch it.
Auction will be livestreamed Blue Origin’s website Saturdays at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT). How long the auction takes depends on whether multiple bidders struggle with it over the long term, or most of them drop quickly as the price gets out of reach.
Once the auction ends, the winners, as well as the Bezos brothers, will begin training for spaceflight, which is set to launch from Blue Origin’s spaceport in the West Texas desert on Tuesday, July 20.
Truth be told, it shouldn’t involve a lot of preparation because Blue Origin’s 10-minute space tourism experience is largely automated. Shortly after liftoff, the capsule will lift off from the rocket and travel further to the Kármán line, a spot about 62 miles above Earth that is widely accepted as marking the edge of space.
After a brief period of weightlessness inside the capsule, and what promises to be an epic view of Earth, the capsule and its passengers will return home in a parachute-assisted landing in the desert, not far from the launch site.
Blue Origin aims to launch a commercial flight service with regular visits to suborbital space. Instead of costing millions of dollars, however, a seat is expected to cost around $250,000, which is what rival space tourism service Virgin Galactic is charging for reservations for its similar, yet-to-be-launched space experience.