Jeff Bezos is headed to space. The Amazon billionaire and founder of space company Blue Origin on Monday said that he would be a passenger on the maiden crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard on July 20. Bezos will be joined by his brother, Mark Bezos, as well as the winner of an auction for a seat on the rocket launch.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos said in an Instagram post on Monday. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
Blue Origin is targeting July 20 for its first launch of New Shepard with humans aboard. New Shepard is a suborbital rocket, meaning the trip to space will be brief. The entire experience from launch to landing will last about 10 to 15 minutes.
The journey will begin at the company’s launch facility in West Texas, and after an initial boost, the crew capsule will separate from New Shepard and continue on past the Karman Line, which is considered the edge of space at about 62 miles (100 kilometers) in altitude. Passengers will enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness before returning back to Earth for a parachute-assisted landing not far from the launch pad.
Auction bidding for a seat on New Shepard is already at $2.8 million with nearly 6,000 participants from 143 countries, Blue Origin said on Monday. Bidding will conclude with a live auction on June 12.
The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s educational nonprofit, Club for the Future, which aims “to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space,” according to the company.
CNET’s Eric Mack contributed to this report.