- Blue Origin is auctioning off a single ticket for a space tour on July 20.
- Bidding for the first space tour began on Wednesday and will go through June 12.
- The company released a video announcing its plans to start selling rides on its New Shepard rocket last week.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is auctioning off a seat on its first-ever space tourism flight.
It will be the New Shepard’s first flight with a full human crew. The winner of the online auction will be one of six people to ride to space on the New Shepard on July 20.
“This flight will change how you see the world,” the company said in its press release.
There will be three phases to the online auction, starting with sealed bidding on the company’s website. People who are interested in riding on Blue Origin’s very first space tour can bid any amount they want on the company’s website from Wednesday through May 19. Then the bidding process will become public and participants must exceed the highest bids to continue in the auction.
The final auction will be live on June 12 and the winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future.
In order to qualify for the “Astronaut Experience,” the participant must meet a series of requirements set forth by Blue Origin, including the ability to deal with heights, walk on uneven surfaces, and handle up to three times the individual’s weight. The participant will fill out a long series of waivers, as well as complete a special Blue Origin training program.
The company announced the auction on YouTube, as well as its website. The video highlights the historic opportunity for individuals to participate in the first Blue Origin space tour.
The company teased the release last week with a video of Bezos visiting the New Shepard capsule after the company’s latest test flight earlier in April. The flight served as a rehearsal for the New Shepard’s crew, as the astronauts ran through pre-flight tests, but left the capsule before it took off.
People can sign up to for the first stage of bidding on Blue Origin’s website.
The company has yet to release any ticket prices or specifics related to its plans for full capacity space tourism. But, Virgin Galactic – Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism company – has sold tickets for about $250,000 to about 600 passengers. Bezos has said in the past that tickets to ride on Blue Origin’s New Shepard tourism rocket will have competitive prices with the other space-tourism company.
The initial video announcing the space tickets video has footage of Bezos visiting the New Shepard capsule after the company’s latest test flight earlier in April.
“Guys, how exciting is this – come on!” Bezos said in the video, labeled “It’s time.”
Bezos is also seen in the video riding around the Texas launch site in a Rivian electric truck emblazoned with Blue Origin’s logo.
The 11-minute New Shepard space tour will launch from a 18.29m-high rocket in the West Texas desert and allow tourists to experience a glimpse of space, reaching an altitude of over 103,632.00m, according to the company’s website.
The capsule has windows to allow customers to get a full view of space and it will linger in zero gravity for several minutes before returning to Earth. The New Shepard is designed to carry six people.
Blue Origin, which was founded by Bezos in 2000, is focused on making access to space more cost effective and reliable by using reusable rocket-launch materials.
The company has long been in competition with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s venture, SpaceX. The two companies have similar goals when it comes to making space more accessible, as well as creating a future for humanity beyond Earth.
Last month, SpaceX beat out Blue Origin for a $2.9 billion NASA contract designed to help the organization return to the moon. Bezos quickly lodged a complaint against the contract with SpaceX, calling NASA’s decision “flawed” and “unfair.” Last week, NASA told Musk’s company to suspend the project until Bezos’ complaint could be resolved.