Tourism in space: more than 23 million euros for astronaut seats

A rich winner paid more than 23 million euros for a place put up for auction to accompany him on Saturday Jeff Bezos on the company’s first space tourism flight Blue origin is scheduled for July 20.

The winner, whose identity will be revealed in the coming weeks, took the post of about twenty participants in these last online auctions, which lasted less than ten minutes.

The amount of the sale will be donated to the foundation Club for the future Created by Blue Origin, it aims to encourage young people to work in science and space.

Jeff Bezos, who will step down as Amazon chief in July, announced in early June that he would be part of the company. The first human flight on a New Shepard rocket with his brother and the winner of the auction for third place.

Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin’s commercial director, said on Saturday that a fourth space tourist would travel without disclosing his identity.

According to Blue Origin, which will be at the top of the rocket, the capsule with large windows can accommodate up to six people in reclining seats, specially designed to absorb the impact during landing.

Routing and competition

New Shepard will take off from the desert in West Texas. The rocket will take off vertically and the capsule will leave it at an altitude of about 75 km and continue its trajectory until it crosses the Karman line at an altitude of 100 km, which defines the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space.

After that, passengers will be able to observe the curvature of the Earth by swimming in zero gravity for about three minutes.

During this time, the rocket will still land vertically on a soft spot on the rails.

The capsule itself will then begin to descend freely to return to Earth, and will be slowed down by three large parachutes and retro rockets before descending into the desert.

The missile made 15 test flights and “We are ready to launch astronauts”Ariane Cornell said on Saturday that only 569 people had crossed the Karman line.

This journey comes at a time when competition is heating up Blue origin, Virgin Galactic, founded by SpaceX team led by Elon Musk and Richard Branson.

Space is a priority for Jeff Bezos and a potentially significant source of revenue, although Blue Origin currently lags behind its main rival, SpaceX, in the field of satellites and space missions.

Thus, tourism can offer high revenue prospects, such as the price of a third ticket purchased on Saturday.

Mr Branson could have taken a test flight on the Virgin Galactic in the summer, but no exact date has been announced. His company expects regular commercial operations to begin in 2022. The group has already sold about 600 tickets for between € 165,000 and € 206,000.

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