Jeff Bezos will be among those aboard for Blue Origin’s first human space flight in July, the billionaire announced.
Bezos said Monday in an Instagram post that he and his brother, Mark, will fly on his company’s New Shepard space craft during its scheduled launch on July 20. The winner of an ongoing live auction will also join the crew.
Bezos said in early February that he was stepping down as CEO of Amazon to spend more time focused on Blue Origin, among other things.
"To see the Earth from space, it changes you, changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth," Bezos said in a video shared to his Instagram. "I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me."
Mark Bezos added in the video that he wasn’t even expecting his famous older brother to be on the flight, let alone both of them together.
"What a remarkable opportunity, not only to have this adventure but to do it with my best friend," Mark Bezos said.
CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos (R) gestures as he addresses the Amazon's annual Smbhav event in New Delhi on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
The auction for the open seat on New Shepard ends Saturday. The winning bid right now stands at $2.8 million, with almost 6,000 participants from 143 countries. The money from the winning bid will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 "with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth," the company’s website states.
The New Shepard spacecraft has room for six occupants and is fully autonomous, taking passengers on a ride past the edge of space. It has had 15 successful consecutive missions, including three successful escape tests.
The scheduled July 20th launch will also mark the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The rocket is named after Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space during a suborbital flight in 1961.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.