Blue Origin discloses $2.4 mln as current highest bid for seat on space flight

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A general view of the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket booster at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Isaiah J. Downing/File Photo

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May 19 (Reuters) - Blue Origin, billionaire Jeff Bezos' rocket company, disclosed that the current highest bid for a seat on its New Shepard spacecraft was $2.4 million in the ongoing second round of auction.

The company said it received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries in the first round of auction, the highest bid from which was not disclosed as the round was sealed.

The second round was kicked off with an initial bid of $1.4 million, according to the Blue Origin website.(

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The process will last until June 10 and conclude in a final phase on June 12, with a live online auction.

The rocket company is targeting July 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip on its spacecraft, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.

The New Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles (100 km) above Earth into suborbital space.

Reuters reported in 2018 that Blue Origin was planning to charge passengers at least $200,000 for the ride, based on an appraisal of rival plans from billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (SPCE.N) and other considerations, though its thinking may have changed.

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Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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