First seat aboard New Shepard to cost more than $2.6 million

An auction to sell the first seat aboard a Blue Origin New Shepard launch vehicle has already topped $2.6 million with several weeks remaining.
The commercial debut of Blue Origin’s New Shepard launch vehicle is slated to lift off on July 20 Image credit: Blue Origin

An auction for the first seat aboard a Blue Origin New Shepard launch vehicle currently sits at $2.6 million with bidding to remain open until June 12.

On May 5, Blue Origin announced that it would auction off the first seat aboard a Blue Origin New Shepard launch vehicle. The multi-stage auction process began with a blind bidding phase that ended this morning with the highest bid revealed as $1.4 million.

Since just this morning, the highest bid has jumped several times and, as of writing, now sits at $2.6 million.

Following what Blue Origin has called a “Live Auction” on June 12, the winning bid will receive the first ticket aboard a New Shepard flight. The flight is slated to lift off on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

The money raised from the Auction will be donated to Blue Origin’s own non-profit Club for the Future. The foundation seeks to inspire children to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

The 10-minute flight will see the New Shepard booster carry a small crew capsule to an altitude of just over 100 kilometers, the generally accepted border between Earth’s atmosphere and space known as the Kármán line. The capsule will then be separated from the booster with participants inside the capsule enjoying a brief period of weightlessness. It will then fall back down to Earth with its main parachutes deploying to ensure a soft return to the surface.

Work on the New Shepard launch vehicle began in 2006. Since then, a total of four vehicles have been produced which have collectively flown 15 flights suffering just one partial failure.

The New Shepard vehicle earmarked for the first crewed flight was first launched on January 14. The historic commercial debut of the vehicle will be NS4’s third flight.