An auction for a trip into space with Jeff Bezos and his brother next month finished with a winning offer of $28 million on Saturday.
Following the live online auction, the winner's name was not revealed by the Amazon founder's rocket company, Blue Origin. In a few weeks, the identity will be revealed, closer to the quick up-and-down trip from West Texas on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon landing.
It will be the first time Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket has launched with humans on board, launching the company's space tourism business. Since 2015, fifteen test flights of the reusable rocket and capsule — each lasting about 10 minutes — have all been successful.
The auction on Saturday came after more than a month of online bidding, which had reached $4.8 million on Friday. According to Blue Origin, more than 7,500 people from 159 countries registered to bid. The big rollers were among the more than 20 bidders at Saturday's auction.
The revelation that Bezos and his younger brother, Mark, will travel onboard New Shepard's maiden crew flight raised bidding immediately. The winning sum will be donated to Blue Origin's Club for the Future, an educational initiative aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in science and technology.
Up to six passengers can be carried in the fully autonomous capsule, each with its own large window. Following the auction, Blue Origin's top sales director, Ariane Cornell, stated that the fourth and last seat on the inaugural crew voyage would be disclosed soon.
Blue Origin has yet to announce ticket prices or open ticket sales to the general public.