Jeff Be­zos plans to charge at least $200,000 for space rides -sources

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

SEAT­TLE, (Reuters) - 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 Reuters.

Po­ten­tial cus­tomers and the aerospace in­dus­try have been ea­ger to learn the cost of a ticket on Blue Ori­gin’s New Shepard space ve­hi­cle, to find out if it is af­ford­able and whether the com­pany can gen­er­ate enough de­mand to make a profit on space tourism.

Ex­ec­u­tives at the com­pany, started by Ama­zon.com Inc 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 pro­duc­tion sta­tus and ticket prices. Blue Ori­gin rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment on its pro­grams and pric­ing strat­egy. Be­zos said in May ticket prices had not yet been de­cided.

One Blue Ori­gin em­ployee with first-hand knowl­edge of the pric­ing plan said the com­pany will start sell­ing tick­ets in the range of about $200,000 to $300,000. A sec­ond em­ployee said tick­ets would cost a min­i­mum of $200,000. They both spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity as the pric­ing strat­egy is con­fi­den­tial.

The New Shepard is de­signed to au­tonomously fly six pas­sen­gers more than 62 miles (100 km) above Earth into sub­or­bital space, high enough to ex­pe­ri­ence a few min­utes of weight­less­ness and see the cur­va­ture of the planet be­fore the pres­sur­ized cap­sule re­turns to earth un­der para­chutes.

Jeff Be­zos

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