Bezos’ Blue Origin has completed its fifth crewed flight launch on June 4, 2022. The mission is a major step in the company’s expansion. After a successful July launch, the company received inquiries about more than $100 million in ticket sales. With this new milestone, Blue Origin plans to increase the pace of suborbital launches and is already planning a sixth flight. While Virgin Galactic has publicly advertised a $450,000 price tag for its suborbital space trips, Bezos’ company negotiates ticket prices privately and doesn’t disclose them.
The New Shepard program launched by Jeff Bezos on Saturday is a private space initiative that will eventually fly humans to space. The company has launched 25 non-professionals to space, including actor William Shatner, aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and television personality Michael Strahan. Other notable non-professionals to have flown on Blue Origin’s crews include actor Wally Funk, aviation pioneer Wally Virgil, and Michael Strahan. As the only American private space company with more than two dozen flights under its belt, Blue Origin is competing with Virgin Galactic, owned by billionaire Richard Branson.
The company expects to triple the number of people it will fly to space. It expects to fly at least 42 passengers over the next few years, in seven crewed flights of six. The company has also been in discussions with the U.S. Transportation Command, which oversees global military logistics. Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation signed a commercial rocket development agreement with SpaceX and XArc to study integration of space rockets into the military’s transportation network. But Blue Origin has yet to decide whether to proceed with a CRADA.
In addition to sending a Mexican-born woman into space, the company is also launching a crypto-crowdfunded member of its crew. These new missions also mark the company’s first repeat customer in space. Bezos has said he has been an avid space enthusiast since he was four, and his space venture is making history.
In addition to the launch of a tourist into space, the company is now launching experiments and tourists into space. Last month, the launch of the New Shepard was delayed, but now NS-21 is scheduled to launch on June 4th, at 9 a.m. EDT. The launch will take place from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas. The company already has an experimental FAA permit for suborbital flights.
The winning bidder of the auction for the New Shepard mission has not been revealed yet. The winner of the bid will either be Jeff Bezos or another individual. However, Blue Origin did not reveal the identity of the winner until June 12. It is reportedly not clear if the winner of the auction will be able to take the New Shepard flight on his own or designate someone else to do so.