$ 28 million!
This is what the winner of the auction organized this Saturday by Blue Origin will pay out to award the last ticket aboard its first manned space flight on July 20, in the company of the Bezos brothers.
If we fall to 23 million by converting into euros, this "ticket" remains much more expensive than that which future tourists will have to pay when take-offs from New Shepard have become routine: around 200,000 dollars, all the same.
Organized in a little over a month therefore, this trip will only last about ten minutes in total.
The rocket will take off vertically and the capsule housing the passengers at its top will separate from it at about 75 km in height, continuing its trajectory until exceeding 100 km in altitude: the border of space.
The Bezos brothers and the winner of the auction will then be able to float in zero gravity for a few minutes.
At the same 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.
Three large parachutes and retro rockets will slow it down before landing, in a desert in West Texas.
Crucial issue for Blue Origin
After more than twenty years of existence, Blue Origin, the multibillion-dollar space company, should finally experience its heyday with this flight. More than satisfying a childhood dream, it is above all a nice communication move and an industrial demonstration that the discreet Bezos aims by giving of his person for this mission. “With Blue Origin, it has always posed as a player closer to the traditional space industry, more reassuring and much less maverick than Elon Musk, its competitor in the private launch market ... But it is clear that in recent years, Space X has taken a considerable lead in terms of technology, reliability, visibility and contracts won ”, explains Xavier Pasco, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research.
This is the problem for Bezos, who notably lost a contract for a short-term lunar mission to the benefit of his rival, a setback that he is now contesting in court. By letting go of the reins of Amazon, Bezos has notably freed up time to take back control of his space company and is now sending a strong message to the space sector and to Congress - which signs the check books - by playing the guinea pigs: “You see, it's operational ”. Thus preparing the ground for his future launchers, much more powerful, he intends to make this chip jump in space a giant leap for Blue Origin.