July 31, 2021

Into space with Jeff Bezos’ space company – for $ 300,000

Düsseldorf For Jeff Bezos, they are the beginning of a new era: tourist flights into space. With his rocket company Blue Origin, the Amazon founder wants to usher in this new era in the coming year. Because the company, which is based near Seattle, plans to test the first humans into space soon.

To experience this turning point, future space tourists will have to dig deep into their wallets. The flight tickets for the space plane “New Shepard” are expected to cost between 200,000 and 300,000 US dollars, as reported by the Reuters news agency, citing insiders.

So far, Blue Origin has completed eight test flights in Texas – but without passengers on board. If everything goes according to plan, Blue Origin could start selling tickets early next year. Bezos’ missile company did not comment on a Reuters inquiry about pricing strategy. In May, the billionaire said that ticket prices had not yet been set.

The “New Shepard” spaceplane consists of a launcher and a detachable passenger capsule. The company can shoot six tourists into space with it. The journey in the fully automated rocket, which is equipped with oversized windows and leather seats, should take up to eleven minutes. The capsule returns to earth with a parachute.

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With his rocket company, Bezos wants to turn civil space travel into an important niche in the global space economy, which now has a turnover of more than 300 billion US dollars a year, alongside satellite services and government exploration projects.

But the competition is strong: In addition to Bezos, the richest person in the world with a fortune of 122 billion US dollars, the billionaire Richard Branson and Tesla boss Elon Musk also hope to become pioneers in civil space travel.

In April, Branson’s company Virgin Galactic successfully tested its “Unity” spaceplane for the first time after the crash of the “SpaceShip Two” spaceplane four years earlier. Apparently, the first space tourists will soon be traveling into space with “Unity”: The company has already sold 650 tickets each for 250,000 US dollars, but has not yet announced a specific start time.

And also the billionaire Musk wants to transport humanity with his company Space X into space. At the beginning of the year, the entrepreneur shot the “Falcon Heavy” launch vehicle into space on a test basis, and further launches are planned for the end of the year. Musk’s ultimate goal: people should be able to live on other planets, for example on Mars.

The three entrepreneurs are currently still having problems with costs: they can only use a rocket once, but it is expensive to produce. Blue Origin keeps the costs a secret. Marco Caceres, aviation analyst at Teal Group, however, estimates that each flight would cost the missile company about $ 10 million. Even if Blue Origin’s six passengers were to pay $ 300,000 per ticket, civil space travel would initially turn out to be a losing business.

For this reason, the three space companies are trying to develop rockets that they can launch multiple times into space. This would not only reduce costs for Bezos, Branson and Musk. Ticket prices would also drop dramatically – and who knows: maybe that would mark a new era in mobility history.

With material from Reuters.

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