The space trip with Jeff Bezos sells for $ 28 million


The inside of the Blue Origin crew capsule – an unnamed bidder has paid $ 28 million for a seat on board, alongside Jeff Bezos – Copyright AFP ERNESTO BENAVIDES

An unnamed bidder paid $ 28 million Saturday for a seat next to Jeff Bezos aboard the first manned space flight of billionaire company Blue Origin next month.

The Amazon founder revealed this week that both he and his brother Mark would take a seat aboard the company’s New Shepard launch vehicle on July 20, to fly to the edge of space and back.

They will be joined by the winner of Saturday’s charity auction, whose identity will be unveiled in the coming weeks, and a fourth space tourist, still unnamed, according to Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut and orbital sales at Blue Origin.

Saturday’s winner beat about 20 rivals in an auction launched on May 19 and ended in a 10-minute frenzy.

Bids had reached $ 4.8 million on Thursday, but shot up dramatically at the final live auction, rising in $ 1 million increments.

The proceeds, apart from the commission of a six percent auction, will go to the foundation of Blue Origin, Club for the Future, which aims to inspire future generations to develop careers in STEM: science, technology , engineering and mathematics.

Taking off from a desert in West Texas, the New Shepard trip will take a total of ten minutes, four of which will pass over the Karman line that marks the recognized boundary between the atmosphere and space. of the Earth.

After takeoff, the capsule separates from its reinforcement and spends four minutes at an altitude exceeding 100 kilometers, during which those on board experience weightlessness and can observe the curvature of the Earth from space.

The reinforcement lands autonomously on a platform two kilometers from the launch site and the capsule floats back to the surface with three large parachutes that slow it down to about one mile per hour when it lands.

Bezos, who announced earlier this year that he is stepping down as Amazon CEO to devote more time to other projects, including Blue Origin, has said he would fulfill a lifelong dream flying in space.

Blue Shepard’s New Origin has successfully conducted more than a dozen unmanned tests from its facilities in the mountains of Guadalupe, west Texas.

The reusable suborbital rocket system was named after Alan Shepard, the first American in space 60 years ago.

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The unmanned automated capsules have six seats with horizontal backs located next to large doors, in a futuristic cabin with elegant lighting.

Several cameras help capture the few minutes that space tourists experience weightlessness.

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