An anonymous benefactor will pay $28 million for an inaugural flight on Blue Origin’s suborbital spaceship.

The seat was sold during a live auction on June 12, 2021. The company said that the identity of the winner is going to be disclosed in several weeks after the auction.

Blue Origin’s first space tourism flight is going to be conducted on July 20, 2021. On the flight,  the winner will be accompanied by the company’s founder and (currently) world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, as well as the fourth passenger whose identity is yet to be disclosed as well.

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Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, will take part in the first space tourism trip organized by his company Blue Origin.
 

The flight will carry four people just beyond the Karman line – the internationally recognized edge of space. It is going to last 11 minutes and be the first manned mission for the Blue Origin company, which has been testing the new spacecraft through the last decade.

New Shepard, named after the first American astronaut Alan Shepard, can carry up to seven passengers to an altitude of over 100 kilometers (approx. 62 miles). It is, however, incapable of orbital flight – a feat which Blue Origin aims to accomplish with its next spacecraft, New Glenn.

Recently, Bezos’ company has been locked in a bitter rivalry with the ventures of other so-called “space billionaires” – Ricard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The former of them, reportedly, aims to conduct the first manned mission of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane before July 20. Virgin Galactic downplayed the rumors but did not deny that it will try to overtake Blue Origin.

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Space tourism has become a fast-emerging market with a handful of competitors trying to make journeys to space an accessible reality.