Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced Monday that he and his brother Mark will join whoever wins the auction to be on his Blue Origin company’s New Shepard rocket ship when it makes its first human spaceflight on July 20.
“To see the earth from space, that changes you,” Bezos said in a video Monday. “It changes your relationship with this planet; it changes your relationship with humanity. It’s one earth.”
New Shepard has run 15 unmanned flights so far, preparing for crewed launches with an eventual goal of space tourism.
One of the seats on the July 20 flight is currently being auctioned off, with nearly 6,000 bids from 143 countries and the highest bid currently at $2.8 million. The winning bid amount 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.”
The rocket is designed for up to six people at a time. The 30-minute flight, which will launch from Van Horn, Texas, will give passengers about three minutes of zero gravity before returning home.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said. “It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”
— New York Daily News