Fancy going into space? It’s your lucky day, as long as you’ve got the funds to hitch a ride on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spaceflight.
Blue Origin, the aerospace manufacturer founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has announced that spaceflights will be bookable starting from May 5, 2021. The tweet below announced the ambitious new service being open to civilians, on the sixtieth anniversary of the day Alan Shepard became the first American in space. It’s a fitting tribute, because the rocket developed by the manufacturer for suborbital spaceflight is named the “New Shepard”.
On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard completed his historic first flight to space onboard Freedom 7. On May 5, 2021, you can follow in his footsteps on #NewShepard. Sign up to learn more at https://t.co/7Y4The9OmR #MayThe4thBeWithYou pic.twitter.com/1JZoqNOhJv— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) May 4, 2021
This tweet was followed up by the big announcement which gave us a few more details:
On July 20th, #NewShepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space. We are offering one seat on this first flight to the winning bidder of an online auction. Anyone can place an opening bid by going to https://t.co/6DpTdTxo36. #GradatimFerociter pic.twitter.com/jBMFYX7xHg— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) May 5, 2021
Blue Origin’s first manned mission will have one seat reserved for a space tourist, and the lucky one will be the winner of an online auction. From then on, it has been rumoured that a single ticket would cost around $200,000 once the program is up and running.
So far Blue Orbit has only overseen fifteen unmanned test flights so let’s hope that this practice has made perfect and that the organisation’s first ever manned flight goes well.
So let’s say you’ve you’ve scraped together the funds and waited patiently for your turn, what can you expect to see? In the company of five other passengers, you’ll fly 100 km (62 miles) above the surface of the Earth, sufficient to see the globe’s curvature and experience weightlessness. Then, you’ll be parachuted back down again. Blue Origin will not be the only brand in this business; Virgin Galactic is finally due to start spaceflights in 2022.
On the one hand it seems incredibly exciting to think that commercial spaceflight will soon be occurring in our era, but on the other hand it’s likely going to be limited only to the most obnoxiously wealthy for decades to come.
If money was no object, would you be booking your ticket on May 5? Let us know in the poll below.