Jeff Bezos has announced that he will be flying to space next month. The billionaire founder of Blue Origin and his brother will be two of the passengers on his company's first suborbital sightseeing trip on its spacecraft, New Shepard. The rocket company is targeting July 20 for its first sightseeing trip to space. The trip will last a total of 10 minutes, including the four minutes that passengers will spend above the Karman line, reports AFP. The Karman line marks the recognized boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space.
The New Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles (100 km) above Earth into suborbital space.
"Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space," Jeff Bezos said while revealing his space tour plans with brother Mark Bezos on Instagram this afternoon. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend," he said.
"To see the Earth from space, it changes you," Mr Bezos was filmed saying in the video he shared on Instagram. "I want to go on this flight because it's a thing I've wanted to do all my life.. It's a big deal for me," he added.
Mr Bezos further said he had invited his brother on the space flight because he is his closest friend. The video then cuts to the Amazon CEO inviting his brother Mark to accompany him on the space flight.
According to news agency Reuters, Blue Origin disclosed that the current highest bid for a seat on its New Shepard spacecraft was $2.8 million in the ongoing second round of auction. The process will last until June 10 and conclude in a final phase on June 12, with a live online auction.
The company's website states: "Blue Origin has been flight testing New Shepard and its redundant safety systems since 2012. The program has had 15 successful consecutive missions including three successful escape tests, showing the crew escape system can activate safely in any phase of flight.
"Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is Blue Origin's reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads into space."