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Mystery bidder pays £20m for flight to space with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

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An anonymous bidder has paid $28 million for the spare seat in Jeff Bezos’s space rocket launch on 20 July.

Bezos’s space flight company, Blue Origin, confirmed on Saturday that the individual will take part in the New Shepard launch with the Amazon founder and his brother Mark.

A live online auction lasted 10 minutes, and there were 20 active bidders.

The price started at $4.8million, but bids escalated in the final three minutes. Some 7,600 people from 159 countries had registered to take part.

Next month’s flight will be the first manned launch of the New Shepard, although there have been 16 successful test flights.

FILE - This undated file illustration provided by Blue Origin shows the capsule that the company aims to take tourists into space. The price to rocket into space next month with Jeff Bezos and his brother is a cool $28 million. That was the winning bid during the live online auction on Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP, File)
The winning bid during the live online auction on Saturday reached $28m (Photo: Blue Origin via AP, File)

It will last 11 minutes and take the team to the Kármán line, 100 kilometers above sea level, where its capsule will detach and allow them to look down on the Earth and to experience weightlessness.

The capsule is expected to land in the west Texas desert with the aid of parachutes.

There were rules on who could bid, as they had to be between 5ft and 6ft 4in tall, and 110-223lb. They had to be able to climb the launch tower’s seven flights of stairs in less than 90 seconds.

The company also said they must be able to cope with gravitational forces of as much as 5.5 times their normal weight while coming back, and three times for as long as two minutes on the way up.

In February Mr Bezos announced he was stepping down as Amazon’s chief executive to focus on other initiatives, including Blue Origin.

Bezos reinvests around $1bn raised from the sales of his Amazon shares into the enterprise each year and in 2018, calling Blue Origin “the most important work that I’m doing”.

“I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Mr Bezos said in a video clip uploaded to Instagram. “It’s an adventure, it’s a big deal for me. I invited my brother to come because we’re closest friends.”

“You see the earth from space and it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth,” he added.


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