eff Bezos will be among the first passengers to board his rocket company Blue Origin’s inaugural human space launch next month, he revealed today.
The Amazon billionaire, 57, announced the news on Instagram this morning, telling his millions of followers that his younger brother Mark will also join the trip, which blasts off on July 20 – the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
They will join the winner of an month-long online auction for a third seat on New Shepard spaceship, with the bidding currently standing at $2.8million.
The launch is being seen as a landmark in the drive to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I wanted to do all my life.” Bezos says in the video.
He wrote: “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.#GradatimFerociter“
The Latin phrase is Blue Origin’s motto, and means “Step by Step, Ferociously.”
Blue Origin’s New Shepard has flown more than a dozen successful test flights over the past six years without passengers on board, including one in April at the company’s facility in the Texas desert.
It can carry as many as six people at a time on a ride past the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. Capsules on previous test flights reached an altitude of more than 340,000 feet (or more than 60 miles).
They have a giant window to give passengers a view of the Earth below: passengers spend a few minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.
Bezos, who is the world’s richest man with a net worth of $187 billion, will become the first of the billionaire space tycoons to experience a ride aboard the rocket technology that he’s poured millions into developing.
Elon Musk, whose SpaceX builds rockets powerful enough to enter orbit around Earth, has yet to announce any intention to travel to space aboard one of his company’s capsules.
Richard Branson’s space company Virgin Galactic is also planning to conduct flights to space for wealthy tourists: Branson has long said he would be among the first passengers aboard its rocket-powered plane but that flight is not expected before later in 2021.
“To see the Earth from space, it changes you,” Bezos added. “It’s an adventure… it’s a big deal for me.”
This story is being updated