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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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14 2021, @02:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14 2021, @02:52PM (#1145076)

    I think many people don't appreciate the difference between sub-orbital and orbital flights. Comparing Blue Origin to something like SpaceX is effectively like comparing Go-Kart racing to F1 Grand Prix racing.

    To get into orbit, height does not matter*. You could go a million miles above the surface of the Earth and you'd still fall right back down. That would still be called a sub-orbital flight even though you'd be far higher than many objects in orbit. The way you get into orbit is by going around an object at a rate faster than that which you are falling down towards it. Imagine you could throw a ball fast enough such that it's altitude decline caused by gravity would be less than its vertical increased caused by the curvature of the Earth.

    * - The reason that height does matter is because when you have an atmosphere, it will slow you down. So in our little analog, if you could throw a ball that fast - it'd probably just burn up as it crushed into the atmosphere at ground level. And so you need to be at a sufficient height to "escape" Earth's atmosphere. I say "escape" because even the ISS is bumping into Earth's atmosphere, but the effect is small enough that an occasional 'bump' will maintain your orbit just fine. This is the same reason satellites also have thrusters on them - they are still running into some atmosphere and gradually falling to Earth, but a little bump now and again keeps them up there just fine.