Jeff Bezos is going to space.
Monday morning, Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin announced that the Amazon CEO and his brother Mark will be joining an auction winner on the New Shepard craft’s first human flight on July 20.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos said when sharing an announcement video to Instagram. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
Bidding for the aforementioned auction seat is currently in progress and will conclude with a live online auction on June 12. As of Monday morning, auction bidding was at $2.8 million with nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries. The winning bid amount, as previously announced, will be donated to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future foundation.
The New Shepard craft is named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard and is billed as Blue Origin’s “reusable suborbital rocket system” that’s designed to take astronauts and research payloads beyond the internationally recognized boundaries of space. The craft can hold up to six passengers, none of whom will be responsible for piloting the 11-minute flight as the experience is fully autonomous.
Just 15 days before embarking on the New Shepard’s first human flight as a passenger, Bezos will be be handing over the CEO title at Amazon to Andy Jassy. According to Bezos, the July 5 date was selected for this handoff to coincide with the 27th anniversary of Amazon’s incorporation.
In May, Amazon and MGM announced they had entered into a definitive merger agreement, the terms of which see Amazon acquiring the iconic entertainment industry name for $8.45 billion.
“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said when announcing the deal. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”