It would cost more than $2 million to be the first human to go into space on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.
As Science Times previously reported, Jeff Bezos-owned aerospace corporation began a public auction this month for one of the first seats on New Shepard. The highest bid was $2.4 million only a few hours later. This quickly grew to $2.6 million.
The top bidder offered $2.8 million as of writing. This is more than twice the highest bid of $1.4 million received during the first period of the auction, from May 5 to May 19.
Given that the auction will be open to all interested parties until June 10, it's expected that the offers will increase over the next 20 days.
Blue Origin's Highest Bidder: Who Won The Bid On The First and Second Round?
Economic Times said Blue Origin received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries in the first round of bidding. The aerospace company refused to disclose the highest bid until the round was closed.
According to the Blue Origin website, the second round began with an initial offer of $1.4 million. Bidders are expected to break the records once again on the auction's third round on June 12.
The winner of the prized seat will be one of six people aboard Blue Origin's suborbital spacecraft's first-ever crewed mission, which is set to take off on July 20.
The names of the other passengers on the maiden flight are yet to be revealed, Forbes said. Blue Origin hasn't shown any details on ticket purchases or prices for upcoming trips.
The winning astronaut would weigh between 50kg (110 pounds) and 101kg (223 pounds) and stand between 1.5m (5 feet) and 1.9m (6 feet 4 inches) tall, according to the fine print.
Passengers should also be able to endure forces of up to 3gs (or three times their weight) for a few minutes during ascent and up to 5.5gs (or five and a half times their weight) for a few seconds during the descent into the atmosphere, according to the firm.
Blue Origin's Highest Bidder: What Is New Shepard's Launch?
New Shepard will launch from the Blue Origin spaceport in west Texas and fly 100 kilometers above Earth's surface to the Karman belt, which is called the atmosphere's edge. The traveler would have a few minutes to enjoy the weightlessness of space and gaze out the window before returning to the planet.
When routine space flights are operational, it remains to be seen how much a single seat on the shuttle would cost. LiveMint said Virgin Galactic, the company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, has set the price of its yet-to-launch space tourism operation with at least $200,000 per seat. Blue Origin has also confirmed that its ticket would be competitively priced.
The corporation is yet to disclose who is behind the bids. It could be Tesla CEO Elon Musk's vision of a massive joke, for all we know.
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