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posted by martyb on Sunday June 13 2021, @04:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the buying-your-way-into-the-history-books dept.

Sold! Bidder pays $28m for spare seat on space flight with Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin has sold the spare seat of the company's 20 July New Shepard space rocket blast-off for $28m, the company announced on Saturday.

With 20 active bidders starting at $4.8m during the 10-minute auction, bids escalated in the final three minutes of the sale. Initially, some 7,600 people registered to bid from 159 countries, the company said. The winner, whose identity has not been announced, will join the Amazon founder Bezos and his brother Mark on the flight.

The 11-minute, automated flight – the company's 16th but first carrying humans – will lift off from Van Horn, Texas. The capsule will carry as many as six passengers, though the company has not yet revealed who else will be onboard.

[...] The company has said the auction price will be donated to Blue Origin's foundation, Club for the Future, whose stated mission "is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in Stem (science, technology, engineering, and math) and to help invent the future of life in space".

Also at The Verge and BBC.

Previously: Jeff Bezos' Vision for Space: One Trillion Population in the Solar System
Jeff Bezos Will Fly on Blue Origin's First Human Spaceflight

Related: Branson May Make a Last-Ditch Effort to Beat Bezos Into Space


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Frosty Piss on Sunday June 13 2021, @07:10AM (10 children)

    by Frosty Piss (4971) on Sunday June 13 2021, @07:10AM (#1144763)

    This is just more evidence that Blue Origin and whatever it is that the British dude is throwing money at, are not serious space programs but rather just silly Rich Person Toys.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by turgid on Sunday June 13 2021, @11:59AM (4 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 13 2021, @11:59AM (#1144787) Journal

    The rich need to be relieved of their money somehow, so that the money can be put to work. At least these rich person's play things are vaguely positive in that there will be R&D and manufacturing involved. Things will gradually become commoditised and access to space will become much cheaper.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @09:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @09:14PM (#1144875)

      The first phrase describes Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. The rest describes SpaceX.

    • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Monday June 14 2021, @12:49PM (2 children)

      by Nuke (3162) on Monday June 14 2021, @12:49PM (#1145044)

      In what way is the money "put to work"? Giving rides to space tourists? A lot of it just goes on fuel which is burned up.

      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Monday June 14 2021, @01:11PM (1 child)

        by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 14 2021, @01:11PM (#1145049) Journal

        The fuel is the cheap part. The engineering costs the money, and the operations. People are paid to do that. All the time, they're honing their skills and making innovations.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 15 2021, @12:40AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 15 2021, @12:40AM (#1145316)

          Like how to add an additional drink holder into the seat or some other "first class" amenity?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @07:29PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @07:29PM (#1144858)

    I hope we are subsidizing their efforts. Just lie back and think of Mars, Bezos and Musk are saving humanity for us.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @10:18PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @10:18PM (#1144886)

      SpaceX does receive government R&D subsidies. It also consistently delivers the services those subsidies were meant to pay for:
      -Falcon 9 has long since paid for itself with CRS, and Crew Dragon means that NASA is no longer dependant on Russia for manned launches.
      -Starlink is already providing rural areas with high speed internet service, which the government has been paying the telcos billions per year for thirty years with nothing to show for it.
      -Moonship is an open question about who is subsidizing who since NASA and SpaceX are splitting the bill 50/50 and both stand to benefit: SpaceX gets $3B over three or four years, ~90% of which goes to Starship development, with the promise of future support contracts. NASA gets a fully mobile Moon base 1/4 the size (not including the rocket) of the ISS for only 1/30 the price and access to a supply chain that makes it practical to operate.

      Colonizing Mars will be an exercise in sustainability research because every part of such a colony must become fully sustainable if it is to survive long term. Everything must be solar powered since that is the only power available and everything must be recycled because they can't afford to waste anything. Whether or not the colony works out that is going to pay huge dividends here on Earth.

      The only Blue Origin subsidy that I'm aware of is the Cantwell amendment to fund an Apollo 11 reenactment. I can't think of any practical benefit from it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @11:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 13 2021, @11:20PM (#1144901)

        > Whether or not the colony works out that is going to pay huge dividends here on Eart

        But we already have biro pens. What else?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14 2021, @01:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14 2021, @01:48AM (#1144924)

        So are you saying that the gov't can/will stop subsidizing and/or paying for rural internet now that Starlink is up?

        I'm not sure what "huge dividends" a Mars colony will pay here on Earth beyond shoveling money to the rocket people who will have to ship the supplies.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14 2021, @06:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14 2021, @06:20AM (#1144990)

        SpaceX is the best circus. Just keep the bread coming.

        FTFY