Story at a glance

  • A bidding war for a seat on Jeff Bezos’s New Shepard rocket, set to launch in July, has reached nearly $5 million.
  • The auction winner will join Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos on the vessel's first manned flight on July 20.
  • Proceeds from the auction, which garnered bids from more than 140 countries, will go to the company’s Club for the Future foundation.

A bidding war for a seat on Jeff Bezos’s New Shepard rocket, set to launch in July, has reached nearly $5 million. 

Blue Origin, a Bezos-owned space company, will open a live auction on Saturday at 1 p.m., with an opening bid of $4.8 million, the company’s website said. The auction winner will join Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos on the vessel's first manned flight on July 20. 

Proceeds from the auction, which garnered bids from more than 140 countries, will go to the company’s Club for the Future foundation. The flight will depart from Van Horn, Texas, 15 days after Jeff Bezos leaves his role as Amazon’s CEO. 

"Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space," Bezos wrote on Instagram Monday morning announcing the venture. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend."

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Reports surfaced earlier this week that a space race is brewing between Bezos and fellow billionaire Richard Branson. The Virgin Galactic CEO is reportedly working toward boarding his own rocket for a prospective July 4 launch — beating Bezos by more than two weeks. Branson’s company has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.

But when asked by Ars Technica about the reported flight, Virgin Galactic said in a statement that the company is in the “process of analyzing the data” from its “successful May 22nd flight” and plans to make future flights.

"As previously announced, we expect to complete the final test flights this summer through to early fall,” the statement continued. “At this time, we have not determined the date of our next flight."


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Published on Jun 11, 2021