Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has confirmed that both he and his brother Mark will be onboard the first human flight into space on board Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket on July 20.
Bezos announced his intentions in an Instagram video and said space flight was something he had wanted to do “all my life”. Blue Origin is also auctioning off a seat in the capsule, with the winning bidder travelling alongside the Bezos brothers for the inaugural crewed flight.
Announcing his flight, Bezos wrote: “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
Mark Bezos added the flight was a “remarkable opportunity.”
Six-berth capsule uses parachutes for return to Earth
The New Shepard booster can land vertically on the ground after returning from space. The spacecraft is named after Alan Shepard, the second person and first US citizen to fly into space. The company plans to launch passengers more than 100km (62 miles) above the Earth’s surface, allowing them to experience microgravity. The six-berth capsule returns to Earth using parachutes.
Blue Origin’s first crewed flight comes two weeks after Bezos plans to step down as CEO of Amazon. He will serve as executive chairman of the e-commerce giant allowing him “time and energy” to focus on other ventures.
Bidding for third passenger place stands at $3.5m
Auction bidding for the third passenger seat currently stands at $3.5m on BlueOrigin.com (June 8), with nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries. Those interested in bidding in the live auction have until Friday (June 10) to register their interest for a live online auction on June 12.
The winning bid will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space.