People often go on vacation after they retire. But a vacation to space? Jeff Bezos will be one of the first to ride a Blue Origin tourism rocket on July 20, just two weeks after resigning from his longstanding role as Amazon CEO.
While the New Shepherd rocket is technically capable of carrying six passengers, the first tourist flight will hold just three people: Jeff Bezos, his younger brother Mark, and the winner of a charity auction ending Saturday, June 12. Proceeds from the auction, currently at $2.8 million, will go to Club for the Future (an education foundation run by Blue Origin).
Funnily enough, Blue Origin is holding this first tourist flight on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It’s clearly a milestone in commercial spaceflight, which may explain Bezos’ enthusiasm for the experience. After all, he has been openly dreaming of going to space for years.
While Blue Origin’s first tourist flight is exciting, it will be a long time before such programs become affordable for the average person. Until then, we’ll have to live vicariously through the rich and famous (or thank our lucky stars for not being guinea pigs for commercial spaceflight).
Source: Blue Origin via AP