Today, Blue Origin held the final live auction for a seat on the first crewed launch of their launch vehicle, New Shepard.
Following two rounds of online bidding, today’s auction started off at $4.8 million. Each of the bidders had to match this bid in order to participate in the auction. The auction started increasing in increments of $100 thousand but quickly progressed to million-dollar increments. The auction concluded with a $28 million bid. The winning bid will be donated to Club for the Future, a Blue Origin charity dedicated to inspiring future generations to pursue STEM-related careers through an interest in future space exploration.
The winner of the flight will be announced in the coming weeks. They will join Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark, as well as an unannounced fourth crew member.
New Shepard is a sub-orbital vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL) landing rocket capable of carrying a crew of 6 to just beyond the edge of space. Developments started in the early 2000’s and the New Shepard booster successfully landed for the first time in 2015. The crew capsule sits atop the booster during the start of the flight. The crew will experience a few minutes of weightlessness during the flight while enjoying the view from the largest windows to fly in space. The capsule and crew then descend under parachutes. Just before touchdown, the capsule fires rockets to soften the landing.
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