Jeff Bezos To Travel to Space With Brother and Blue Origin Auction Winner in July

Blue Origin, the rocket company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has announced that Bezos and his brother Mark will be among the three people to launch aboard the company's first human flight next month.

Blue Origin is currently holding an auction in which people are vying for one seat on the company's New Shepard spacecraft on July 20.

6,000 people from 143 countries have already put forward bids. Currently the highest offer is $2,800,000.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Blue Origin said the winning bidder would be joined aboard the rocket by the two Bezos brothers.

The Amazon CEO posted a video to Instragram in which he offers his brother a seat on the upcoming flight. Mark Bezos said he was "awe-struck" at being offered a place and that he wasn't even expecting Jeff to be aboard the first flight.

According to Blue Origin's terms and conditions, whoever wins the auction is expected to be able to endure up to 5.5 gs of force during the rocket-powered ascent, reliably follow instructions if needed, and sit in their capsule seat for up to 90 minutes without access to a bathroom if there is a launch delay. The flight will take around 11 minutes.

New Shepard is Blue Origin's reusable launch vehicle. Named after Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, it is designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the internationally recognized boundary of space, known as the Kármán line.

At around 220,000 feet, the crewed capsule will detach from the rocket and continue to ascend to about 328,000 feet—in which time the crew will be weightless. The rocket will land itself on Earth, while the capsule will float back down using parachutes.

No-one on board the capsule will be a pilot, as the entire flight is autonomous.

The auction process for the last remaining seat on New Shepard's first manned mission is currently in its second stage—unsealed online bidding. It is due to conclude with a live auction on June 12.

Although just three will fly aboard the July 20 mission, New Shepard's crew capsule has room for six, with one large window per passenger.

The capsule comes with what Blue Origin claims are the largest windows in space, handholds for the crew to hold onto in zero gravity, and a screen for in-flight updates.

Blue Origin has been testing its New Shepard rocket since 2012. It has flown 15 times and there have also been three successful escape tests designed to propel the capsule away from the rocket in case of a malfunction.

Update 6/7/21, 8:39 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include more information about the New Shepard rocket.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos speaking at an event in Maryland, September 2018. The Amazon CEO is also the founder of Blue Origin. Alex Wong/Getty