Blue Origin has its winning bidder for its very first manned space flight, and the winner will pay $ 28 million for the privilege of flying aboard the company’s first private astronaut mission. The winning bid came in today at a live auction, which saw 7,600 registered bidders, from 159 countries competing for the spot.
This was the culmination of Blue Origin’s three-part auction process for the ticket, which first included a blind auction, followed by an open and asynchronous auction with the highest bid. posted on the company’s website whenever it changed. This latest live auction significantly increased the value of the winning bid, which stood at just under $ 5 million before the event.
That first seat for sale cost far more than an actual commercial spot is likely to cost on Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule, which flies into suborbital space and only spends a few minutes there before returning to Earth. . Estimates put the cost of a typical launch at less than $ 1 million, possibly closer to around $ 500,000. But it’s the first, which is obviously a special distinction, and it’s also a journey that will see the winning bidder pretty much literally rub shoulders with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, who will also be on the flight, with his brother Mark, and a fourth passenger that Blue Origin says it will announce in the coming “weeks” ahead of the target flight date of July 20.
As to who won the auction, that will also have to be found out, since the identity of the winner will also be “revealed in the weeks following” the end of today’s live auction. And in case you thought that $ 28 million could represent a significant revenue windfall for Blue Origin, which has spent years developing its human spaceflight capability, think again: the company is donating it to its foundation for purpose. nonprofit Club for the Future, which focuses on encouraging children to pursue careers in STEM as part of a long-term offering to help Bezos’ broader goals of making humanity a space civilization .
You can review the entire auction portion of the auction live via the feed below.