Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, looks at some of the postcards submitted for space travel as part of his nonprofit Club for the Future campaign. (Jeff Bezos via Twitter / 2019)
There are only a limited number of postcards you can send to space and back, even if you have $ 28 million to spend.
That’s one of the reasons why Club for the Future, the nonprofit education foundation of Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin, donates the lion’s share of the proceeds from the $ 28 million tariff to 19 space-related charities to a winner of a mystery auction pays to go on a suborbital space trip.
The winner, to be announced each day, will join Bezos himself, his brother Mark and aviation pioneer “Mercury 13” Wally Funk when Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket leaves a spaceport in West Texas on July 20th lifts off On the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this flight will be the first manned suborbital launch vehicle mission to be tested 15 times in unmanned mode.
When Blue Origin started the auction in May, the company promised that the proceeds would go to the Club for the Future, whose signature educational program is to take postcards from children, fly them to New Shepard, and then give them as souvenirs to senders return . The foundation also creates space-based teaching activities and does public relations work at public events.
Five weeks later, the $ 28 million bid caused a stir – even at Blue Origin. “With $ 28 million we will delight a lot of children,” said Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut strategy and sales for the company, at the time.
Now the club will have some help going on in the future, spending the money and spreading the inspiration.
“This donation enables Club for the Future to quickly expand its reach by partnering with 19 organizations to develop and inspire the next generation of space professionals,” said Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin, in a press release today. “Our generation will build the path into space, and these efforts will ensure that the next generation is ready to go further.”
The Club for the Future is offering a $ 1 million grant to each of these 19 groups:
In the meantime, the Club for the Future will continue to work on the curriculum for the classroom – and of course on the Postcards to Space program. More than 25,000 postcards flew on the last unmanned New Shepard test flight in April. It’s a safe bet that Blue Origin will find room for a few more on its milestone flight next week.