UPDATED 6:51 PM PT – Saturday, June 12, 2021
Jeff Bezo’s space flight company, Blue Origin, sold a spare seat on its first human flight for nearly $30 million. In a Twitter post on Saturday, Blue Origin announced the winning bid for the seat aboard a sightseeing trip on the company’s New Shepard.
The live auction ended in under 10 minutes and started at nearly $5 million, receiving more than 20 bidders. The auction followed several weeks of online bidding, which registered more than 7,000 people from 159 countries.
Blue Origin said the winning bid would be donated to Club for the Future, a nonprofit of the company who’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM.
Earlier this week, long time space enthusiast Bezos announced he and his brother would be taking flight on July 20. While the winner’s identity was not immediately disclosed, officials said with blast off in just a couple of short weeks, the winner’s name would be released soon.
Additionally, the company said to stay tuned as the fourth and final crew member would also be announced before the crew takes off. The automated flight is expected to last about 11 minutes, where passengers inside the capsule will pass the Karman Line at about 350,000 feet.
Bezo’s journey comes amid growing competition as Blue Origin battles alongside Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s space exploration technologies and Virgin Galactic Holdings Incorporated backed by Richard Branson to offer space tourism.