Blue Origin, the space company of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, wants to launch its first manned rocket on July 20. The company is also starting an auction, where space tourists can bid for a seat on board the flight.
“New Shepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space on July 20,” Blue Origin wrote in a press release . “We are offering a seat on this maiden flight to the winning bidder of Blue Origins online auction.” Interested parties can bid on the seat via the website of the aerospace company.
The auction is held in three stages. Interested parties can make a closed offer for the seat until 19 May. These bids will be made public on May 19, allowing users to see what the highest bid is at that time. A final auction will be held live on June 12, continuing the highest bid. The proceeds from the auction will go to Club for the Future, a foundation set up by Blue Origin. Club for the Future focuses on inspiring future generations to pursue careers in science.
New Shepard is named after Alan Shepard, the first American to go into space. It is a rocket that is over 18 meters high and will launch six passengers to a height of about 100 kilometers on July 20. The missile has completed several successful test flights in recent years, although the missile has never flown with people on board.
Blue Origin isn’t the only space company to launch a rocket with space tourists this year. SpaceX is launching a Crew Dragon capsule containing four regular burgers this year , for the benefit of St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis. That launch must take place on September 15 at the earliest.