Billionaire Amazon founder and outgoing CEO, Jeff Bezos has announced that he and his brother Mark will fly on New Shepard, a Blue Origin spacecraft, when it blasts off on July 20.
Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000, will fly alongside Mark and the winner of an online auction which has already surpassed $2.8 million as at Monday, June 7.
The passengers will spend at least 10 minutes floating in zero gravity inside the capsule during the suborbital sightseeing trip.
Blue Origin named the New Shepard program after astronaut Alan Shepard, who was the first American to fly into space exactly 60 years ago.
Blue Origin, founded in 2000, touts itself as means to provide cheaper access to space through the use of reusable rockets, specifically the New Shepard that has flown 15 times already.
‘Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,’ Bezos posted to his Instagram account on Monday.
‘On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.’
The flight date is just 15 days after Bezos resigns as CEO of Amazon, a company he founded in his garage in 1994.
In a short video announcement, he said: ‘I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.’
If he successfully carries his plan out, Bezos will be beating rivals Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Air and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla who have also spoken of ambitious plans to start commercial rocket flying to space.
The two Bezos brothers will be part of a crew of six on New Shepard, along with the highest bidder from the public auction. The remaining places will be taken by Blue Origin staff.