After years of development, Blue Origin is finally ready for the first manned flight of the New Shepard rocket, which is scheduled for July 20th. In addition to its own pilots, Blue Origin will also auction one of the seats for a space tourist to board with, and the auction proceeds will be donated to its STEM education fund Club for the Future. The auction will be carried out in three stages. First, the closed auction will be held before May 19 to establish the reserve price, and then the public bidding stage will be before June 12. Finally, those who still have the financial resources will conduct the online auction on June 12. Real-time broadcast, decide the final auction winner.
New Shepard is not a rocket that can enter orbit, so its six crew will only fly straight to an altitude of about 100 kilometers, and then fall straight back to the ground. The whole process only takes a few minutes. However, the occupants can still enjoy the microgravity for a period of time, and see the curvature of the earth, of course, they can also show off that they have “went to space.” However, BO still has not disclosed how much the fare will be after the official transfer. It is probably not easy to strike a balance between the services provided and the cost.
However, on the other side, SpaceX is also expected to launch the first manned mission of civilian members this year, allowing four astronauts who are also selected by the charity auction to board the Crew Dragon space capsule. However, because Crew Dragon / Falcon 9 is a truly orbitable combination, these four astronauts can stay in space for a full three days, which is far from the service provided by New Shepard. Rich people who don’t care about spending money would rather wait for SpaceX to start providing fixed services, right?