Jeff Bezos announced on Monday he will be flying into space onboard his aerospace company Blue Origin’s first crewed space flight that is scheduled to launch on July 20th, just two weeks after the billionaire is set to resign as Amazon’s chief executive.
In an Instagram video, Bezos announced his plans to be one of the passengers onboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard, along with his younger brother Mark Bezos.
In his video, Bezos said that traveling to space has been a lifelong dream for him and it will be “meaningful” to have his “best friend” Mark alongside him.
Blue Origin’s first crewed flight will use the company’s six-seater capsule and is expected to take an 11-minute flight that will reach the edge of space—100 kilometers (more than 60 miles) above the earth.
In addition to the Bezos brothers, one seat on the flight will be won by the highest bidder in an ongoing online auction that is scheduled to end on June 12.
$2.8 million. That’s the current highest bid on the auction for the single seat onboard the New Shepard rocket.
In his annoucement, Bezos said: “You see the earth from space and it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth. I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”
If things go as planned, Bezos who is the richest man on Earth—with a net worth of $186.2 billion according to Forbes—will be the first of the major space entrepreneurs to actually fly to space. Bezos’ flight will beat out British billionaire Richard Branson, who previously said he plans to be one of the first passengers aboard his company Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered plane. Virgin Galatic, which promises to offer suborbital spaceflights to the ultra-rich, is expected to embark on its first passenger flight later this year. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which recently sent a crewed mission to the international space station aboard a reusable spacecraft, is also expected to launch its first all-civilian space flight later this year. SpaceX’s four-man mission will be commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman with the remaining three seats being auctioned off for charity.