Which company will be the first to shoot tourists to suborbital space? Will it be the infamous SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, or Blue Origin? Perhaps it'll be a lesser-known company like Zero 2 Infinity who plans on launching space tourists aboard its capsule with the use of helium balloons?
The race to send tourists above Earth to view our majestic blue planet from an entirely different perspective is definitely hurtling ahead, and Jeff Bezos' space company, Blue Origin, isn't sitting on the sidelines.
Just a couple of weeks after Blue Origin launched its New Shepard spacecraft for its 15th flight test complete with astronaut rehearsal on April 14, the company now announced it'll start accepting pre-bookings for its first space tourism tickets aboard the very same spacecraft. That's right, you'll soon be able to buy your very own space ticket.
The company shared the news through a teaser video (embedded below) aptly called It's Time, in which you hear an ecstatic Bezos whooping "Guys, how exciting is this? Come on!" as he and his team drive across the Texan desert towards Blue Origin's launch site.
Blue Origin is ready to accept orders, with a clock counting down to May 5 on its website, when it will reveal more juicy details of the ticket sales.
Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft
Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft is set to be sending payloads, and soon space tourists up just past the Kármán line on a thrilling 11-minute journey.
The capsule that will transport six passengers to the boundary of space sits atop the 60-foot rocket, offering unforgettable views from its many wide windows. After separation, the capsule's parachutes will deploy, lolling the capsule and its future space tourists safely back down to Earth, to Blue Origin's site in West Texas.
What's great about New Shepard is that it'll be fully reusable, much like SpaceX's spacecraft.
No pricing about how much a ticket to space's boundary will cost aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft has yet been shared, but it's been said that each ticket will likely be similar to other space companies' tickets. For instance, Virgin Galactic has sold 600 of its tickets for around $250,000, so perhaps Blue Origin's will match that figure.
Given how much interest was shown for Virgin Galactic's tickets, which the AP said received around 8,000 online reservations, we're sure Blue Origin's ones will be as popular. May 5 will reveal more, we just have to wait patiently for now.