Blue Origin is one of several high-profile space-tourism companies backed by a wealthy entrepreneur, alongside Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies and Richard Branson-backed Virgin Galactic Holdings. Both of those companies are making plans to carry paying customers. Blue Origin is auctioning off a seat on its New Shepard rocket for the July 20 flight, an 11-minute trip to suborbital space that will reach an altitude of about 100 kilometers (62 miles). The spot will be the only one available for purchase on the flight, and the proceeds will go to a Blue Origin foundation that promotes math and science education.
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