Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, is developing the New Shepard rocket for space tourism.
Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin will soon begin selling tickets for rides on its space tourism rocket called New Shepard, the company announced in a video released on Thursday.
“Guys, how exciting is this – come on!” Bezos says, with the billionaire featured prominently in the video.
Blue Origin did not reveal how much tickets will cost, only saying that more details will come on May 5 to those who submit their name and email on a form on the company’s website.
“Sign up to learn how you can buy the very first seat on New Shepard,” the company’s website reads.
The video features Bezos going out to the capsule of New Shepard after the company’s test flight earlier this month. It shows him driving across the Texas desert, the remote location of the New Shepard launch facility – notably at the wheel of a Rivian R1T electric truck, which is emblazoned with Blue Origin’s signature feather.
Blue Origin launches a New Shepard rocket from its facility in Texas.
Blue Origin | gif by @thesheetztweetz
New Shepard is designed to carrying as many as six people at a time on a ride past the edge of space, with the capsules on previous test flights reaching an altitude of more than 340,000 feet (or more than 100 kilometers). The capsule spends as much as 10 minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth, with massive windows to give passengers a view.
The rocket launches vertically, with the booster detaching and returning to land at a concrete pad nearby. The capsule’s return is slowed down by a set of parachutes, before softly landing in the desert.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket booster lands after its eleventh successful mission.
Blue Origin did not say how much a ticket will cost to fly on New Shepard. To date, Virgin Galactic has sold tickets to about 600 passengers at a price between $200,000 and $250,000 each, although the company expects it could increase its prices substantially for the first commercial flights. In the past, Bezos has said Blue Origin will price New Shepard flights similarly to its competitors.
Virgin Galactic’s leadership has previously emphasized that it expects demand for space tourism flights to well out pace supply in the next decade, leaving enough room for both of the companies to succeed.