Following six years of developing a space tourism rocket, Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin has announced that New Shepard — designed to carry up to six tourists per flight — will leave for its first commercial sub-orbital journey on July 20.
The company has invited bids for a seat in its New Shepard rocket. The winner of the auction will travel to space and proceeds will be donated to Club for the Future, a youth-focused foundation meant to inspire kids to study science and technology.
According to the company, New Shepard has flown 15 successful consecutive missions to space.
How to get a seat in the New Shepard?
Blue Origin, the spaceflight services company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has announced that it will launch a five-week-long online auction where the highest bidder will get a seat in the New Shepard rocket and get a chance to travel to space.
In the first space sortie of the New Shepard rocket, only one tourist seat has been kept open for the winner of the online auction. However, if the space trip goes on as planned, the New Shepard is likely to make more such trips, probably with more than one tourist.
In a tweet, Blue Origin said, “On July 20th, #NewShepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space. We are offering one seat on this first flight to the winning bidder of an online auction. Anyone can place an opening bid by going to http://BlueOrigin.com.”
On July 20th, #NewShepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space. We are offering one seat on this first flight to the winning bidder of an online auction. Anyone can place an opening bid by going to https://t.co/6DpTdTxo36. #GradatimFerociter pic.twitter.com/jBMFYX7xHg
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) May 5, 2021
How much would space travel cost?
The New Shepard rocket is sure to usher a new era in private commercial space travel; however, sub-orbital sorties are likely to remain in the reach of elites for some time now.
Although Blue Origin has not announced the charge for a seat in its New Shepard rocket, tickets are likely to be in the range of several thousand dollars.
According to Blue Origin, the auction will be held in three phases with the first leg continuing from May 5 to May 19. The bids are to be unsealed on May 19 and on June 12; Blue Origin will hold a live auction to decide the winner.
Who is the first space tourist?
US millionaire Dennis Tito became the world’s space tourist after he reached the International Space Station (ISS) on-board a Russian Soyuz rocket on April 30, 2001. He had to shell out $20 million to complete his childhood dream of a space sortie.