Some people just have too much money on their hands.
After a frenzied bidding war drove the price of a ride on Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spacecraft to, er, atmospheric levels, it appears that we have a winner.
Or a loser, depending on how you look at it.
According to reports, the bidding for the 11-minute flight – no, that’s no a typo, it’s 11 minutes – started at a mere $4.9 million (you’ve got to love the “.9” instead of rounding up to $5 million), then quickly rose to $10 million, after which a group of 4 individuals furiously bid up the price to a staggering $30 million.
The “winner” will be announced sometime in the next couple of weeks – presumably in order to verify that someone that spendthrift actually has $30 million laying around to participate in an 11-minute flight – and the flight takes place on July 20.
Did we mention that it’s fully automated? There are no pilots.
The 11 minute flying time is a little deceiving. The actual time in space, i.e., weightlessness, is only about 3 minutes. So make it $10 million per minute in space.
But hey, who are we to say. The money apparently goes to charity, and ultimately this is really about a middle-aged man with more money than the Almighty buying the ultimate cheap thrill (much like another gazillionaire, Richard Branson with his Virgin Galactic enterprise). So it’s nothing to really get worked up about.
But if you’re interested in serious space exploration, look no further than Elon Musk and his brainchild, SpaceX. Musk’s objective is no less than colonizing Mars. Now THAT’S visionary. And might possibly be worth $30 million for a ride.
So what do you think? Take the poll below and let us know. We’ll publish the results next Friday.