Someone just paid $28 million in order to take a spaceship ride with billionaire Jeff Bezos, Fox Business reports.
The identity of this individual has yet to be revealed.
In a move toward space tourism, Bezos’s company Blue Origin is expected to launch its first passenger flight to space on July 20th. It will be a suborbital flight that reaches an altitude of about 340,000 feet.
There are six seats available on the Blue Origin spaceship, which is called the New Shepard. It is named after Alan Shapard, the first American who made it to space.
Earlier this week, Bezos announced that he will be in one of those available seats. He also announced that he will be joined by his brother, Mark.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos wrote on Instagram. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
Bezos is competing with fellow billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson to be the first to make a trip to space. At the moment, it appears that Bezos is going to win. But, we’ll see.
In May, Blue Origin began a three-part online auction for a seat on the New Shepard for the July 20th launch.
During the first phase of that auction, which was sealed, bidders were allowed to submit any amount for the ride. In phase two, there was unsealed bidding that included some 6,000 people from over 140 different countries. This phase concluded with a winning figure of $4.8 million.
And finally, on June 12th, there was the third phase: a live auction. Within the first four minutes of this live auction, bids exceeded $20 million. The bidding came to an end not long thereafter, around the seven-minute mark, with the anonymous winner paying $28 million.
What many are predicting is that the New Shepard launch is going to be the start of space tourism. The predictions are that this industry could bring in around $3 billion annually by 2030.
Estimated initial costs for such a trip to space were previously, in 2018, said to be around $200,000, according to Bezos’s company Blue Origin. This, of course, would be out of reach for the overwhelming majority of people.