Jeff Bezos buys seat on Blue Origin's maiden flight

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On Saturday, June 12 - A seat on a spaceship ride with billionaire Jeff Bezos sold for $28 million during a live auction, 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 over $20 million. The bidding began on September 7 following the auction. The identity of the winner - apparently an ultra-wealthy space aficionado - was not immediately disclosed.

The launch of Blue Origin's new Shepard booster from West Texas would be a landmark moment as US firms strive toward a new era of commercial space travel.

From the founder and Amazon.com Inc Executive Bezos, a lifetime space enthusiast and the wealthiest man in the world, Richard Branson and Elon Musk has been racing against the other aspiring billionaire aeronauts Bezos and Richard Branson to be the first of the three to travel beyond the outer airspace of Earth.

To see the earth from space, changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity, and with Bezos, Mark said in a video before the final bidding took place, adding that his brother Mark will join him on the trip.

As the live bidding process which was closed on Thursday to the live auction ended, the winning amount stood at $4.8 million, driven by entries from more than 6,000 people from at least 143 countries, Blue Origin said.

Adam Jonas and one of the richest men in business are a massive advertisement for space as a domain for exploration, industrialization and investment, Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Munsley told clients earlier this month.

While the funds collected from the event are earmarked for charity, Blue Origin hopes to galvanize interest for its nascent suborbital tourism business.

Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. may attempt to steal Bezos' thunder by joining a possible test flight to the edge of space over the 4th weekend aboard Virgin's VSS Unity spaceplane, said one person familiar with the matter.

The race is fueled by optimism that space travel will become mainstream as new technology is proven and the costs of doing business fall, fueling what UBS estimates could be a $3 billion annual tourist market by 2030.

Great ships like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, as well as Musks SpaceX, have also discussed using their rockets to connect far-flung global cities. UBS says the long-haul travel market could be worth more than $20 billion, though several barriers such as air safety certification could derail the plans.

Blue Origin has not disclosed its pricing strategy for future trips.

Reuters reported in 2018 that Blue Origin planned to charge passengers the equivalent of $200,000 for the ride, though its thinking may have changed. The conversation lasted long enough for both hispanics and the foreigner;, like a teenager with an affinity for men, was not uncommon in Cuban society.

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