Space tourism provider Blue Origin is set to begin selling tickets for suborbital spaceflights aboard their New Shepard vehicle as early as next year.
“We expect to start selling tickets in 2019,” said Blue Origin Senior Vice President Rob Meyerson speaking at the Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit on June 19. The announcement was accompanied with few other details with Meyerson declining to elaborate on ticket prices.
During an interview on May 25, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos went further stating, “We don’t know the ticket price yet. We haven’t decided.” This is in stark contrast to the likes of Virgin Galactic who began selling spots aboard their SpaceShipTwo vehicle more than a decade ago. To date, over 700 customers have at least made an initial deposit towards their spot aboard a SpaceShipTwo flight.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle made its most recent test launch in April this year. The test was a major step for the provider with the vehicle reaching its operational altitude of 107 kilometers (66 miles). The provider is also currently recruiting for an Astronaut Experience Manager. The successful candidate will be tasked to, “Develop a thorough understanding of astronaut needs and desires, both existing and potential, and using that knowledge to help delight customers”