Blue Origin’s sales director Arian Cornell said 7,600 people from 159 countries registered for the auction. The name of the winner of the auction was not disclosed, but he made a bid of $ 28 million. The flight is expected to take place on July 20 from the Blue Origin base in Van Horn, West Texas.
Blue Origin, a company founded by Bezos in 2000, spent five years testing New Shepard, an 18-meter-high missile and capsule. It will be the first human flight aboard the fully autonomous New Shepard after 15 bareboat test flights the company has conducted since 2015.
The company noted that they want to continue selling short flights to an altitude of more than 100 km above the Earth for the sake of scenic views and a few minutes of weightlessness. 100 km is an altitude that scientists believe marks the boundary of outer space, but NASA believes that the boundary lies at an altitude of about 80 km.
The proceeds from the auction will be donated to Blue Origin, which aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math education among young students. However, the company also noted that they wanted to test how wide the audience is willing to pay for such a service.
The $ 28 million price tag is much higher than Blue Origin’s direct competitor, Virgin Galactic. Although Galactic has yet to fly with customers, it has already sold about 600 tickets at prices ranging from $ 200,000 to $ 250,000.