Jeff Bezos will fly on the first passenger flight of his space company Blue Origin, which the company plans to launch on July 20, the billionaire announced on Monday.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said in a video posted to his Instagram.
Bezos’ brother will join him, as well as the winner of a public auction being held for one of the seats. Bidding on the auction stood at $2.8 million before Bezos announced he would fly.
Blue Origin’s space tourism system New Shepard, a rocket that carries a capsule to the edge of space, has flown more than a dozen successful test flights without passengers on board, including one in April at the company’s facility in the Texas desert.
New Shepard is designed to carry as many as six people at a time on a ride past the edge of space, with the capsules on previous test flights reaching an altitude of more than 340,000 feet (or more than 100 kilometers). The capsule has massive windows to give passengers a view, spending a few minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.
The rocket launches vertically, with the booster detaching and returning to land at a concrete pad nearby. The capsule’s return is slowed by a set of parachutes, before softly landing in the desert.
July 20 will mark the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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