Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos will be joining passengers in a Blue Origin flight going to space, only two weeks after he steps down from his position with the massive American multinational technology company.
The Amazon CEO plans to step down from his position on July 5, giving authority to Andy Jassy, who is currently leading the company's cloud computing division, NPR reported.
Bezos said seeing the earth from space will be a life-changing experience that would make a person realize their relationship with the world. He said it has been his dream to fly off into space since he was five years old.
Blue Origin's first flight will be using a rocket called "New Shepard," a reusable vessel that could reduce the cost of going up into space. This will make space travel more accessible to experts and the public. Additionally, the capsule can carry up to six passengers and does not need pilots.
The schedule marks the first time the New Shepard will carry passengers inside a capsule attached to the rocket. Bezos is also bringing his brother Mark along in his space adventure. A seat will be sold in an auction that would fund Blue Origin's foundation. Currently, the highest bid is at $2.8 million.
The Bezos brothers are scheduled to fly into space on July 20, along with the lucky passenger who will win the bidding. The date is also the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.
Blue Origin's space flight comes after six years of developing its tourism rocket. Anyone is allowed to bid on the available seat via Blue Origin's website. The first round of bidding will run from May 5 to 19. It will later be sealed, meaning no one will be able to see how much the bid is currently going for.
On May 19, officials will start with an unsealed round of bidding and will hold a live auction to conclude the contest on June 12 to determine who will be the one to join the space flight.
Blue Origin will use the proceeds to support Club for the Future, a youth-focused foundation that aims to support children and help them become interested in studying science and technology.
Company officials did not specify who will be included in the first flight to fill the remaining vacant seats. They also did not reveal how much each seat was sold for.
Blue Origin said that while anyone was allowed to bid for the seat, there are a few limitations set in place to avoid unnecessary outcomes. First, a person must be at least 18 years of age. They must be in good physical shape and able to climb seven flights of stairs in under a minute and a half. They must also be between 5'0" and 6'4" in height, and weigh between 110 and 223 pounds.
Bezos founded Blue Origin 21 years ago, and is currently in rivalries with Tesla CEO Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, for space technology advancements, CNN reported.