Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, announced on Instagram that he will fly on Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight next month.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said in a video posted to his Instagram.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos, 57, said in a Monday morning Instagram post. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
The winner of an auction for one of the seats, as well as Bezos’ brother Mark, will join him. As of Monday morning, five days before the auction finishes, the highest bid is $2.8 million.
“I wasn’t even expecting him to say that he was going to be on the first flight,” Mark Bezos said in the video. “What a remarkable opportunity, not only to have this adventure but to do it with my best friend.”
In the suborbital space race, Bezos will beat Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson into space. Later in 2021, Branson hopes to fly on his VSS Unity vehicle.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard space tourism system, which consists of a rocket that carries a spacecraft to the edge of space, has completed more than a dozen successful test flights without passengers, including one in April at the company’s Texas desert base.
New Shepard is meant to transport up to six people on a journey to the edge of space, with earlier test flights reaching altitudes of over 340,000 feet (more than 100 kilometers). The capsule has large windows to provide passengers with a view while in zero gravity for a few minutes before returning to Earth.
“To see the Earth from space, it changes you,” the Amazon CEO said. “It’s an adventure; it’s a big deal for me.”
Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000, and at its facilities in rural Texas, roughly 70 miles from Marfa, the business conducted more than a dozen test flights with no one on board.