Jeff Bezos and his brother to be on first Blue Origin passenger flight
Jeff Bezos has announced that he and his brother Mark will be aboard the first passenger-carrying Blue Origin flight on July 20, joining the winner of the continuing auction for the first paid seat, which now stands at US$2.8 million. If all runs to plan, this means Bezos will beat his fellow billionaires with space ambitions, Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson, into space courtesy of technology developed by his own company.
Today's announcement signals confidence on the part of the Blue Origin founder regarding the odds of success for the first passenger flight of the Reusable Space Ship First Step crew capsule atop the New Shepard booster, which will lift off next month for a 10-minute suborbital flight into space from the company's Launch Site One in West Texas.
During the mission, the capsule will separate from the booster and coast to an altitude of over 62 miles (100 km), letting the passengers experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth, before returning to the ground by parachute.
The run up to the flight is marked by the auction for the first paying passenger seat, which has attracted almost 6,000 people from 143 countries. Opening bidding will run until June 10 and will continue as a live online auction on June 12 at 1 pm EDT for registered and verified bidders.
If you have a few million dollars going spare, auction details can be found on the Blue Origin site. Proceeds from the auction will go to Blue Origin's Club for the Future, which encourages young people to enter the STEM field.
Jeff Bezos discusses the flight in the video below.
Source: Blue Origin