An unidentified bidder, probably a space enthusiast himself, on Saturday bid $28 million (€23 million) to grab a chance to visit space with Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos next month.
Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Blue Origin space travel company, will voyage beyond Earth’s atmosphere for about 11 minutes on their space venture New Shephard spacecraft next month.
Blue Origin organised an online auction for one person to join Bezos on the trip, putting an end to a month-long bidding process.
The auction for the very first seat on #NewShepard has concluded with a winning bid of $28 million. The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, @ClubforFuture. Full replay of the auction webcast: https://t.co/5Vc8IvWxJR pic.twitter.com/IlGbgOFmhx— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) June 12, 2021
The bidding for the 10- to 12-minute sub-orbital flight with Bezos started at $4.8 million and in less than two minutes it shot up to $10 million, doubling to $20 million one minute and 10 seconds after that. The $28 million winning bid was accepted a little more than six minutes after the auction’s final round began.
“Going three times… and that is sold! Twenty-eight million dollars to number 107!” auctioneer Steve Little announced.
The winner’s identity being disclosed to the public in the coming weeks and with the enormous amount paid for the 11 minutes trip to space with Bezos, the space enthusiasts look forward to the unfolding of the events. Bezos’ brother, Mark, will also join the flight. Bezos said he believes the space voyage on July 20 will be life-altering.
“To see the earth from space, changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity,” he said in a video before the final bidding on the trip.
Nearly 7,600 people from 159 countries registered for the auction and the 20 top bidders, none identified, participated in the final round Saturday. A 6% fee was added to the winning bid.
The proceeds will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, “Club for the Future,” which, the company said in an earlier release, aims to inspire “the next generation as they go off and think about millions of people living and working in space … which is precisely what Blue Origin’s vision is.”
The Rising Momentum of Commercial Space Travel
Bezo’s Blue Origin is competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic in the private space exploration field.
Today the concept of commercial space expedition has manoeuvred the interest of the private business expanding the horizons by capitalizing the sphere and aiming for dedicated projects.
It all started unfolding when on May 25th, 2012, a small teardrop-shaped capsule landed at the International Space Station(ISS), packed with cargo and supplies for the crew living onboard. However, the resupply mission at the ISS wasn’t extraordinary, but the vehicle itself was unique: it was a Dragon cargo capsule, operated by a private company called SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk.
It tickled the interest of the private players and gave the space industry commercial steering. The result has been an explosion of growth within the commercial sector.
Space trips are imaginable now, being a part of the space crew and regular vacation is a concept not far from being achievable.