An anonymous individual has bagged a seat alongside Jeff Bezos on a Blue Origin-crewed spaceflight.
Take-Off Date And Passenger List
The bidder paid $28 million at a charity auction on Saturday.
The flight passenger list comprises Bezos, his brother Mark, the main bidder and a fourth person who is also unnamed.
The New Shepard launch vehicle will take off on July 20, will go to the edge of space and come back.
Blue Origin has tweeted that the identity of both the auction winner and the fourth bidder will be disclosed in “the weeks following the auction’s conclusion”
The auction had 20 people vying for a spot onboard the flight and concluded after just 10 minutes in the livecast event.
After being first launched on May 19, initial bid had reached to the level of $4.8 million, which increased to an enormous height in the final auction.
Being a charity auction, the proceeds will be donated to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future foundation which supports future STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics enthusiasts in their careers.
The flight will take off from a location in western Texas, and will last for 10 minutes as it soars to the Karman line, which is the boundary separating the planet’s atmosphere from space.
How It Will Work: Chain Of Events
After the flight takes off, the capsule will detach from its booster.
It will then take 4 minutes, speeding at an altitude of over 60 miles (100 kilometers).
Through all this time one can enjoy the spectacular view of the earth’s curvature and experience weightlessness.
The booster will meanwhile land by itself on a pad 2 miles from the launch site.
The capsule, on its return to earth, will gently land aided by 4 large parachutes to slow the descent to a mile per hour.
About The Flight, New Shepard
Bezos had expressed his lifelong dream to go to space through his project after quitting his role as Amazon’s chief executive, Blue Origin.
The vehicle named New Shepard had already successfully undertaken more than a dozen unmanned test runs from its Guadalupe Mountains, Texas facility.
The reusable suborbital rocket system gets its name from Alan Shepard who was the first American to go to space in 1961.
Ten years later the astronaut also walked on the moon.
The New Shepard flight will be autonomous without a pilot, and will have 6 seats with horizontal backrests with large portholes on its side.
The cabin will have a futuristic design with swish lighting and several cameras to capture the moments of the historic occasion for posterity.
Other Private Players In Space Exploration
Blue Origin is one of several contenders with the ambition of racing to the top in private space exploration.
The rivals include the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson.
The Bezos-Musk rivalry is a public one and SpaceX is already hard at work developing million-dollar orbital flights that would go further into space.
It has already started transporting astronauts to the International Space Station and is bidding for government space contracts
Virgin Galactic has planned for 2022 to be the year it begins its commercial suborbital flights which could expand to 400 trips a year.
It has on boarded 600 future passengers who have shelled out between $200,000 to $250,000 a seat.
Branson will also be taking a test flight himself presumably this summer, as no official date was announced.