A mystery millionaire has paid out an incredible $28 million to be one of the first people shot into orbit.
The Blue Origin project by Amazon opened a month-long auction to members of the public for a chance to be onboard during its first ever flight into space, alongside CEO and the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.
Offers came in from over 140 countries, with the winning bid standing at $5 million for several weeks, reports News.com.au.
At the last minute, the unknown bidder came out of nowhere and bid $28 million for the one-time airfare and the opportunity to sit next to Bezos.
“The more you pay for it, the more you enjoy it,” the event’s auctioner told the floor of telephones taking bids in Boston, Massachusetts.
The New Shephard flight lasts just 10 minutes… meaning the mystery buyer will be paying out $2.8 million a minute.
The flight is scheduled for 20 July, with the spacecraft launching to a dizzying height of over 65 miles above Earth, and landing around 1.8 miles away from its launch site.
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“The name of the auction winner will be released in the weeks following the auction’s conclusion,” Blue Origin revealed this morning, June 13, via Twitter.
“Then, the fourth and final crew member will be announced – stay tuned.”
The full donation amount is being sent to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which specialises in “inspiring the next generation of dreamers and builders” with an emphasis on space exploration and the possibility of humanity living away from Earth.
“We are so humbled by the outcome of today‘s auction and all it will do to inspire students to invent the future of life in space,” the foundation tweeted.
Former Amazon CEO Bezos promoted the flight on Instagram earlier this week, generating hype for the trailblazing flight which he will be taking with his brother and “best friend”.
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“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,” Mr Bezos said. “The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
The short and fleeting trip would make Mr Bezos the first of the billionaire space tycoons to travel to space through their own companies.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, are yet to do so.
During the flight, six people will be seated inside the New Shephard's 60-foot-tall resusable rocket, which is designed to shoot a gumdrop-shaped capsule through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Blue Origin has test-flown the rocket 15 times since its completion in 2015.
It is set to lift off on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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