Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin auctions off seat on first human spaceflight for $28M – TechCrunch

Blue Origin has its winner for its first manned spaceflight, and the winner will pay $ 28 million for the privilege of flying aboard the company’s first private astronaut mission. The winning bid came today during a live auction in which 7,600 registered bidders from 159 countries competed for place.

This was the culmination of Blue Origin’s three-part bidding process for the ticket, which involved first a blind auction followed by an open, asynchronous auction with the highest bid posted on the company’s website with any change. This latest live auction has greatly increased the value of the knockdown, which was just under $ 5 million prior to the event.

This first space for sale cost much more than an actual commercial space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule, which flies into suborbital space and spends only a few minutes there before returning to Earth. Estimates suggest that the cost of a typical launch is less than $ 1 million, probably closer to $ 500,000 or so. But this is the first one, which is obviously a special award, and it’s also a journey that allows the winner to literally rub himself in with Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, who along with the flight will also be his brother, Mark and a fourth passenger that Blue Origin will announce sometime in the coming “weeks” prior to the destination flight date on July 20th.

It also remains to be seen who has won the auction, because the identity of the winner will also be announced “in the weeks after” the end of today’s live bids. And in case you thought $ 28 million could be a huge win for Blue Origin, which has spent years developing its human spaceflight skills, think again: The company is donating it to its charitable foundation, Club for the Future, which focuses on encouraging children to pursue careers in the STEM fields in support of Bezos’ larger goals of making humankind a space civilization.

You can watch the entire live bidding portion of the auction again via the stream below.

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