Jeff Bezos’ rocket company plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year, two people familiar with its plans told.
Executives at the company, started by Amazon founder Bezos in 2000, told a business conference last month they planned test flights with passengers on the New Shepard soon, and to start selling tickets next year.
The company based about 20 miles (32 km) south of Seattle, has made public the general design of the vehicle — comprising a launch rocket and detachable passenger capsule — but has been tight-lipped on the production status and ticket prices.
Design Of The New Shepard
The New Shepard will be able to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles (100 km) above earth into suborbital space. It is high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet before the pressurised capsule returns to earth under parachutes.
The capsule features six observation windows Blue Origins says are nearly three times as tall as tall as those on a Boeing Co-747 jetliner.
Blue Origin has completed eight test flights of the vertical take-off and landing New Shepard from its launch pad in Texas, but none with passenger aboard. Two flights have included a test dummy the company calls “Mannequin Skywalker”.
The company will do the first test in space of its capsule escape system “within weeks”, one of the employees said.