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Jeff Bezos’ Space Venture Blue Origin to Launch First Astronaut Crew

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Jeff Bezos’ Space Venture Blue Origin to Launch First Astronaut Crew
Photo: Blue Origin / Instagram

Before now, Blue Origin had tested the rocket and capsule fifteen times. The test flights were conducted without passengers on board. 

Aerospace company Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos, is launching its first tourism passengers on the 20th of July. Blue Origin said the space tourism rocket, New Shepard, is designed to carry as many as 6 people at a time. Now, the aerospace company is launching the space venture with its first astronaut crew.

Blue Origin Plans to Auction off a Seat on Launch of First Space Tour

According to the announcement by Blue Origin on the 5th of May, Blue Origin will also be auctioning off a seat on New Shepard flights. The company plans to host an auction for a seat to the general public. However, it has not started ticket sales or provide pricing information on New Shepard flights.

CNBC stated that Blue Origin will run a sealed online auction until the 19th of May. The report also revealed that bidding during the auction may go as high as $50,000. For higher bids, the company will request additional identification information and a deposit of $10,000. After the sealed online auction closes on the 19th of May, the company will then hold a bidding process for the public, followed by a final live online auction on the 13th of June.

In a video, the spaceflight company said:

“We’re auctioning off the first seat to benefit our foundation Club for the Future.”

Previous test flights showed that the capsules reached an altitude of over 340,000 feet. The capsule has large windows that give passengers a view.

Previously Conducted Tests

Before now, Blue Origin had tested the rocket and capsule fifteen times. The test flights were conducted without passengers on board.

The company launched and landed the fifteenth test flight of the New Shepard rocket booster and capsule on the 14th of April. The mission is known as NS-15 and was launched from Blue Origins private facility in West Texas. According to the company, the test flight represents a “verification step” for the rocket and capsule before onboarding passengers.

NS-15 surpassed the recognized boundary of $340,000 feet to reach 348,753 feet altitude. Citing reliable sources, CNCB said in January that Blue Origin hopes to launch its first crew on NS-16.

In a blog post, Blue Origin mentioned an “astronaut operational exercise” as an important process in launching the space flight with passengers.

“The primary operations will entail Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entering into the capsule prior to launch. These astronauts will climb the launch tower, get into their seats, buckle their harnesses, and conduct a communication check from their seat with CAPCOM, the Capsule Communicator. The tower operations team will prepare the capsule cabin for launch and then briefly close the capsule hatch. The astronauts will then exit the capsule prior to launch,” the company said.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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