What’s the logical next step after becoming the richest man on Earth? Become the richest man in space, of course. Announced 7 June 2021, Jeff Bezos will be flying to the edge of space on the first crewed flight of the New Shepard—the rocket ship made by his new space company, Blue Origin. It seems the memes of Bezos being an extra-terrestrial aren’t a stretch from reality after all.
The multibillionaire and founder of Amazon is one of the richest men on Earth, with a net worth of 186.2 billion, according to Forbes. If the project is successful, the billionaire space tycoon will be the first to take a ride on the rocket technology he’s already poured millions into developing. His Brother, Mark Bezos will also be joining him on this venture.
Bezos wrote on an Instagram post shared on 7 June 2021: “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.” In the video, his brother Mark Bezos called the experience a “remarkable opportunity.”
Blue Origin is an American privately-funded aerospace manufacturer, founded by Bezos in 2000. The company has gained recent press attention from its new project, New Shepard. The company is in direct competition with other space companies set up by billionaires, such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Branson has announced that he wants to be among the first passengers on his rocket-powered plane too, due to take place later this year, but it seems Bezos has beaten him to the gun.
It has to be pointed out, not even Elon Musk—the ‘space man’ known for shaking up the privatised space industry with SpaceX, has yet to announce plans to travel space in one of his company’s human-worthy crew capsules. Can’t help but feel a friendly sense of competition here, Musk.
The New Shepard is Blue Origin’s new space tourism system—a rocket designed to carry passengers to the edge of space in a capsule-like mechanism. New Shepard has already had a number of successful test flights, like this one which launched from Texas, albeit without passengers on board.
The rocket can carry up to six people and can reach an altitude of more than 100 kilometres. Inside the capsule, you’ll find huge windows to give the passengers a premium view of the Earth while suspended in zero gravity conditions—presuming that Bezos’ giant bald head doesn’t block the view. It honestly sounds like the most exciting, ambitious and elaborate billionaire networking event ever. And there’s a chance for you to join too.
If jetting off to the edge of space with the Bezos brothers is on your bucket list then you’re in luck—there’s a seat with your name on it… Well, only if you’re loaded. A sealed online auction will run until 19 May, where the bid can go up to $50,000 with a small deposit of $10,000. After 19 May, Blue Origin will be holding a public bidding process, with a final live auction planned to go ahead on 12 June 2021.
So it’s safe to say, if you’re reading this you probably won’t have the cash available to join the Bezos brothers on their journey. It’s especially true if you’re one of his many Amazon employees who are practically facing modern-day slavery in poor working conditions. If not, get in loser, we’re going to space.