A seat on a spaceship ride with billionaire Jeff Bezos went for $28 million during a live auction on Saturday, concluding the month-long bidding process for the sightseeing trip on the Blue Origin’s maiden voyage next month.
Within four minutes of the open of Saturday’s live phone auction, bids reached beyond $20 million. The bidding closed seven minutes after the auction began. The identity of the winner – presumably an ultra-wealthy space aficionado – was not immediately disclosed.
The July 20 launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster from West Texas would be a landmark moment as U.S. firms strive toward a new era of private commercial space travel.
Blue Origin’s founder and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) executive Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man and a lifelong space enthusiast, has been racing against fellow aspiring billionaire aeronauts Richard Branson and Elon Musk to be the first of the three to travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
“To see the earth from space, changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity,” Bezos said in a video before the final bidding took place, adding that his brother Mark will join him on the trip.