Blue Origin announces winner of live auction to join Jeff Bezos and his brother on debut spaceflight next month
An unidentified person will join the Bezos brothers on the debut Blue Origin spaceflight in July, after bidding $28 million (£20m) to win a seat.
The unnamed person was the successful bidder in a live auction held on Saturday. The money raised will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which promotes STEM education initiatives.
“The name of the auction winner will be released in the weeks following the auction’s conclusion,” Blue Origin tweeted on Saturday. “Then, the fourth and final crew member will be announced – stay tuned.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had surprised many last week when he announced that he and his brother (Mark Bezos) would be onboard the first flight of his Blue Origin spaceship New Shepard, on 20 July when it blasts off into orbit more than 100km (62 miles) above the Earth’s surface.
Bezos made the surprise announcement on an Instagram post, in which he posted a video of him and his brother, who he described as his best friend.
Mark Bezos is a former advertising executive and volunteer firefighter.
Bezos had announced in early February that after 27 years in charge, he would step down sometime in the third quarter and be succeeded by Amazon veteran Andy Jassy, who currently heads Amazon’s cloud computing business (AWS).
Bezos will transition to executive chairman of the board.
Then last month Bezos confirmed he would step down at CEO on 5 July, on what he admitted was a sentimental date after nearly 30 years in charge of Amazon
Just fifteen days later, he and his brother will blast off from the planet.
Another space tourist will join the auction winner, and the Bezos brothers on the 20 July flight, which should last approximately 11 minutes.
The crew capsule can carry up to six people, and has huge windows to give the astronauts a stunning view of the earth.
However Jeff Bezos may be beaten into orbit by rival space pioneer Richard Branson, who reportedly said last week that he might join a test flight of his Virgin VSS Unity spaceplane on 4 July.
The New Shepard spacecraft is named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space,
It is a reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.
Because is reusuable, the booster rocket lands vertically, like SpaceX’s Starship and other rockets.
The crew capsule meanwhile, which can carry up to six people, has huge windows to give the astronauts a stunning view of the earth.
The capsule returns to earth and also lands using a combination of parachutes and retro rockets.