Bidding for Blue Origin’s first human flight hits $4.5 million as online auction comes to close

Bidding for a seat on Blue Origin’s New Shephard rocket alongside Jeff Bezos and his brother topped $4.5 million on Thursday as the second phase of the online auction comes to a close. 

According to the company’s website, the highest bid to ride on the July 20 flight is currently $4.5 million, over a million dollars more than Monday’s high bid of $3.2 million.

The identity of the top bidder is not yet known and will not be known until bidding has stopped on June 12, concluding with a live auction.

Bidders need to raise their bid limit by June 10 5PM EST to be a part of the June 12 auction. 

The highest bid to ride on the July 20 flight is currently $4.5 million, over a million dollars more than Monday's high bid of $3.2 million

The highest bid to ride on the July 20 flight is currently $4.5 million, over a million dollars more than Monday’s high bid of $3.2 million

'Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space,' Bezos (pictured) said in an Instagram post where he announced he would fly to space

‘Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,’ Bezos (pictured) said in an Instagram post where he announced he would fly to space

A Blue Origin spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Monday it had no further updates to share regarding the number of bidders or where they were from. 

DailyMail.com had previously reported there were more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries.  

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced on Monday that he and his brother, Mark a former advertising executive and volunteer firefighter, will be on the New Shepard spacecraft when it flies next month, coinciding with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

‘Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,’ Bezos said on a video announcement posted to his Instagram account.

‘On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.’

The other three passengers on the New Shephard flight are Sian Proctor, a community college educator in Arizona, Chris Sembroski, a former Air Force missileman from Washington, and Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.

The six passengers will spend at least 10 minutes floating in zero gravity inside the capsule during the suborbital sightseeing trip.

Washington state-based Blue Origin is largely self funded by Bezos, who has been selling over $1 billion worth of stock in Amazon per year to fund the company

 Washington state-based Blue Origin is largely self funded by Bezos, who has been selling over $1 billion worth of stock in Amazon per year to fund the company

On Monday Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced that he and his brother Mark will be on the New Shepard spacecraft when it flies next month

On Monday Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced that he and his brother Mark will be on the New Shepard spacecraft when it flies next month

Blue Origin named the New Shepard program after astronaut Alan Shepard, who was the first American to fly into space exactly 60 years ago.

Washington state-based Blue Origin is largely self funded by Bezos, who has been selling over $1 billion worth of stock in Amazon per year to fund the company.

In sending tourists to space, Bezos has beaten Richard Branson and Elon Musk and their firms, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX to the punch.

While Musk is yet to comment on the news, Branson has congratulated Bezos, describing how their two firms are ‘opening up access to space.’

He tweeted: ‘ Many congratulations to @jeffbezos & his brother Mark on announcing spaceflight plans. Jeff started building Blue Origin in 2000, we started building Virgin Galactic in 2004 & now both are opening up access to Space – how extraordinary! Watch this space…’

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.

The rocket’s sole mission is to take tourists to space, who would travel inside a sleek, white capsule atop the vehicle.

The capsule is designed with the iconic Blue Origin feather across the exterior and inside are six reclining seats that mirror those inside a helicopter.

Blue Origin’s plans are to send tourists 62 miles above Earth’s surface and spend at least 10 minutes in orbit.

The company also recently conducted its first astronaut rehearsal in preparation for sending the first manned New Shepard into space.

The mock crew traveled the designated path of future spacefaring tourists, which included traveling to the launch pad and climbing up the tower to the passenger capsule.

While celebrities and the uber-rich appear to be a core market for space tourist jaunts, at least initially, industry sources expect Blue Origin to include some philanthropic component to its ticket strategy.

The idea of sending paying customers to the edge of space was once only a plot in science fiction films, but many companies other than Blue Origin are turning the epic journey into a reality.

A college science professor and an aerospace data analyst are among a four-member crew for a launch into orbit planned later this year by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, part of a charity drive billed as the first all-civilian spaceflight in history.

Virgin Galactic also aims to fly private customers in early 2022, after a first flight with Branson on board later this year.

Its zero-gravity experience is anchored by its SpaceShipTwo plane, and the company has ambitious plans to offer point-to-point travel between far-flung cities at near-space altitudes.

Virgin says it will charge more than $250,000 for new reservations but has not announced final pricing. Sales will reopen following Branson’s flight.

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