Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of the multi-national technology Amazon will fly to space next month on the first space flight from his rocket company Blue Origin, the billionaire said.
Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of travelling to space. On July 20, I will take that journey with my brother, the business magnate, media proprietor and investor said in an Instagram post.
Bezos, who is due to step down as Amazon’s chief on July 5, will join the winner of an auction for a seat on the first space flight from Blue Origin.
Bezos fellow billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson have been investing billions of dollars on their rocket startups. But Bezos will be the first of the three to actually travel into space on a rocket developed by his own company.
The Blue Origin spacecraft, which is set to carry Bezos and others, has undergone 15 test flights, none of which had any passengers onboard.
Blue Origin closed the first round of the auction last month and said it had received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries, without disclosing the highest bid from the round.
The current highest bid stood at US$2.8 million in the ongoing second round of the auction, according to Blue Origin's website.
Its New Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 100km above Earth into suborbital space, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet before the pressurized capsule returns to earth under parachutes.
The capsule features six observation windows and is nearly three times as tall as those on a Boeing 747 jetliner and the largest ever used in space, Blue Origin said.
The process will last until Thursday, June 10 and conclude in a final phase on June 12, with a live online auction.
The company is targeting July 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip on its spacecraft, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.