Story at a glance
- Jeff Bezos announced on Monday that he will be flying into space next month.
- Bezos will be embarking on the first manned flight of the New Shepard, a rocket created by his space company Blue Origin, alongside his younger brother.
- A bidding war for an open seat on the flight has reached $2.8 million so far.
Jeff Bezos announced that he will be flying to space alongside his younger brother, Mark Bezos, on the first manned flight of the New Shepard, the rocket built by the Amazon billionaire’s space company, Blue Origin.
"Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space," Bezos wrote on Instagram Monday morning. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend."
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The flight would make Bezos the first billionaire involved in the space race to ride his own technology into space. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk hasn’t cited plans for space travel on one of his SpaceX rockets.
One seat on the New Shepard will be awarded to the winner of a monthlong auction that will close June 12. On Monday morning, close to 6,000 bidders from 143 countries are vying for the seat, with bids reaching $2.8 million.
"The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space," Blue Origin said in an announcement.
The New Shepard will launch from Van Horn, Texas, on July 20 — 15 days after Bezos resigns as the CEO of Amazon. After about a 30-minute flight, the rocket’s passengers will be able to unbuckle themselves from their seats and float freely for three minutes before the New Shepard descends back to Earth.
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