Here’s your chance to bid for a seat on Blue Origin’s first space flight with passengers in July

May 6, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Let the bidding begin!

The private spaceflight company Blue Origin announced it has circled July 20 as the date for its first space sightseeing flight and has opened up bidding for a seat on the inaugural trip.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!

If the flight does take off as planned, it could mark a major milestone in the competition to launch the commercial space travel industry.

The New Shepard rocket will carry six passengers into suborbital space, 62 miles above the earth. Along for the ride will be the five-person crew and one person who gets to sit back and enjoy the view from high above.

The ship will travel high enough for passengers to experience several minutes of weightlessness, as well as being able to see the curvature of the planet before the pressurized capsule returns to Earth under parachutes. And you’ll apparently have a great view, because Blue Origin says the capsule features six observation windows that are nearly three times as tall as those on a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and are the largest ever used in space.

How much will it cost to win that seat is anyone’s guess, especially with the auction format and the novelty of a flight into space having the potential to spark a bidding war. According to Reuters, it could cost upwards of $200,000. That was the price Blue Origin, which is owned by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, was reportedly planning to charge passengers for the ride when it announced its plans in 2018. That price tag was reached after an appraisal of plans from rival billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic endeavor and confirms that, for at least the beginning, space tourism’s primary customer base will be celebrities and the mega-rich.

The New Shepard, named after Alan Shepard, the first American to reach space, will take off and land in West Texas. As of April 14, the astronaut crew had already made 15 consecutive successful trips above the Karman Line (the altitude where space begins) and back.

The auction for a seat on the first flight will begin with sealed bids that can be submitted between now and May 19. After that, the bids will be unsealed and participants must exceed the highest bid to stay in contention. The bidding will conclude with a live online auction on June 12.

The auction for the empty spot on the New Shepard is being auctioned off to benefit Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which seeks to inspire careers in STEM and to push for the creation of a future lived-in space.

Featured photo courtesy of Blue Origin.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.