The flight is scheduled for July 20 – 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing and just 15 days after he is set to resign as CEO of Amazon and will be replaced by by Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO, Andy Jassy.
Bezos will remain involved in Amazon, though he will transition to the executive chairman role.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said in a video posted to his Instagram, stating that he will embark on the journey with his younger brother, Mark Bezos.
Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.
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Also to join the brothers will be the winner of an auction being held for one of the seats. The highest bid stands at $2.8 million as at Monday morning, five days before the auction closes.
In the announcement video shared on Instagram, Mark Bezos stated;
I wasn’t even expecting him to say that he was going to be on the first flight. What a remarkable opportunity, not only to have this adventure but to do it with my best friend.
Blue Origin, founded by Bezos in 2000, has conducted more than a dozen test flights with no one on board at Blue Origin’s facilities in rural Texas, about 70 miles from Marfa.
The company’s space tourism system, New Shepard, a rocket that carries a capsule to the edge of space, has flown more than a dozen successful test flights without passengers on board, including one in April at the company’s facility in the Texas desert.
If all goes according to plan, Bezos — world’s richest person with a net worth of $187 billion — will be the first of the billionaire space tycoons to experience a ride aboard the rocket technology that he has over the years poured millions into developing.
Not even Elon Musk, whose SpaceX builds rockets powerful enough to enter orbit around Earth, has announced plans to travel to space aboard one of his companies human-worthy crew capsules.
British billionaire Richard Branson, whose own space company, Virgin Galactic, is planning on conducting flights to suborbital space for ultra-wealthy thrill seekers and competing directly with Blue Origin.
Branson has long said he would be among the first passengers aboard Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered plane, but that flight is expected to take place later in 2021.
Meanwhile, Blue Origin’s flight crewed flight will see the company’s six-seater capsule and 59-foot rocket tear toward the edge of space on a 11-minute flight that will reach more than 60 miles above Earth.
After six years of extensive and often secretive testing of the rocket and capsule, Blue Origin announced in May that it was preparing to put the first passengers in a New Shepard capsule.
Though the company has not announced how much it will sell regular tickets for, Blue Origin said one seat will be given to the winner of a month-long auction that’s currently in progress.