Space tourism company Blue Origin will send humans into space for the first time in July, for a few minutes, and one of the seats on board is being auctioned off to the general public, the company said on Wednesday. founded by American billionaire Jeff Bezos.
“On July 20, New Shepard will fly its first crew of astronauts into space,” Blue Origin said in a statement.
On July 20th, #NewShepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space.
We are offering one seat on this first flight to the winning bidder of an online auction.
Anyone can place an opening bid by going to https://t.co/6DpTdTxo36.
- Blue Origin (@blueorigin) May 5, 2021
This launcher has passed 15 tests up to above the Karman Line, which marks, according to international convention, the beginning of space, 100 km above the Earth.
But he's never flown with humans on board before.
A 10 minute trip
The trip will only last about ten minutes in total.
At the top of the rocket will be a capsule, with large windows on more than a third of the surface of the cockpit, which can accommodate up to six people.
The rocket will take off vertically and the capsule will separate from it at about 75 km in height, continuing its trajectory until exceeding 100 km in altitude.
Passengers on board will then be able to float in zero gravity for a few minutes and observe the curvature of the space.
During this time, the rocket will descend to land gently on a runway, still vertical.
Then the capsule will itself begin a free fall to return to Earth, and will be slowed down by three large parachutes and retro rockets before landing in a desert in West Texas.
“We are offering a seat on this first flight to the bidder who will win the Blue Origin online auction,” the company said, without revealing who else would board New Shepard. Anyone of full age can already make an offer on the company's website. The amounts of the offers made will not be revealed until May 19. From this date, participants will have to bet more than the highest bid to continue. The auction will close on June 12. The funds raised will be donated to the foundation created by Blue Origin, Club for the future, intended in particular to encourage young generations to start careers in the scientific community.
Blue Origin's main competitor in this sector of short tourist space flights is Virgin Galactic. Some 600 people have already bought a ticket for a price of between $ 200,000 and $ 250,000, according to the company. Thousands of people are now on the waiting list.