KENT, Wash. — The first phase of bidding for a seat aboard New Shepard, Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket, closed Wednesday with a high bid of $2.6 million, a figure expected to continue skyrocketing until the final bids are placed June 12.
“This seat will change how you see the world,” the company wrote on its website, encouraging would-be astronauts to place bids to become one of six passengers on the rocket ship’s first flight to launch with a full crew.
The 11-minute trip will launch into suborbital space on July 20 from Launch Site One, located in the West Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains, Entrepreneur reported.
According to Reuters, the Jeff Bezos’-founded aerospace manufacturing company received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries in the auction’s sealed first round. The process will last until June 10, concluding with a final June 12 live online auction.
Meanwhile, the second, unsealed round kicked off with an initial bid of $1.4 million, a figure that swelled to $2.8 million by Thursday afternoon, Entrepreneur reported.
According to Fox Business, the winning bid amount will be donated to “Club for the Future,” Blue Origin’s foundation, dedicated to inspiring “future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space.”
New Shepard’s launch date coincides with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the network reported.
To date, the ship has completed 15 consecutive successful missions without a crew, and its name pays homage to U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard, who made history 60 years ago as the first American to fly to space.
“In the decades since, fewer than 600 astronauts have been to space above the Kármán Line to see the borderless Earth and the thin limb of our atmosphere,” Blue Origin stated.
According to Entrepreneur, Blue Origin’s attempt to launch a full crew successfully into space and back comes on the heels of competitor Richard Branson’s two successfully crewed Virgin Galactic trips in December 2018 and December 2019.
Meanwhile, competitor Elon Musk’s SpaceX has also successfully launched the crewed Dragon capsule, after sending two astronauts to the International Space Station in May 2020, the magazine reported.
Click here to bid for a seat aboard New Shepard.
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