With a total of $28 million for the only available seat, and 11 minutes outside planet earth, Blue Origin’s trip with Jeff Bezos onboard will cost $2.54 million per minute. The highly-anticipated mission will take place on July 20, with Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s founder, his brother Mark, and aerospace pioneer Wally Funk onboard.
Bezos' Space Trip: “Last-Minute” Swap
An auction was launched to determine who would accompany Bezos and his brother Mark. As revealed by Blue Origin ––also founded by Bezos in 2000–– up to 7,600 people from 159 countries around the world participated in a bid that closed at almost $28 million.
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The anonymous winner, however, backed out “last-minute” due to conflicting scheduling, paving the way for 18-year old Dutch graduate Oliver Daemen to fill in. According to CNBC, He is the son of Joes Daemen, CEO of investment firm Somerset Capital Partners, who got him the ticket.
CNN reports that Oliver is hence set to become the youngest person ever to fly out the planet into space.
The trip will take place one week after the first spaceflight of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE) with British billionaire Richard Branson and five other crew members, who took off into space on July 11 onboard the company’s VSS Unity spaceplane.
Unlocking Outer-Space Tourism
The young Daemon will receive two days of training to prepare for that jump to weightlessness, and specific clauses on his travel contract will prevent him from disclosing private data about the mission.
Blue Origin’s spaceflight is seen as the first paid trip to space, hence unlocking a plethora of exclusive space tourism missions that may grow in the next decade. The date of the mission is not trivial, as it will be the 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11’s arrival to the Moon.
It is estimated that space tickets will cost around half a million dollars in the future, with expeditions expected to be limited.
The $28 million from the bid winner will be managed by the Blue Origin foundation, which also researches “the future of life in space”. The entity seeks to promote science, mathematics, technology, and engineering careers among the new generations.
After Jeff Bezos had stepped down as Amazon’s CEO on July 5, he is set to dedicate himself to the Blue Origin endeavor.
Besides Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, the CEO of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Elon Musk is also seeking to accelerate travel to space for the economic elites of the planet. The launch of Musk’s SpaceX is planned for 2023, with the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and eight companions onboard.
Amazon and Tesla are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.