Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin will start selling tickets for space flights in 2019

Bezos in a Blue Origin capsule.
Bezos in a Blue Origin capsule.
Image: Reuters/Isaiah J. Downing
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If you’ve had a hankering to be a space tourist, you may soon get your chance.

Blue Origin, the rocket company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, aims to begin selling tickets for suborbital space flights to tourists next year, Space News reported.

Speaking at the Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit in Washington, DC last week, Rob Meyerson, a senior vice-president at Blue Origin, echoed the company’s previous updates that it plans to start testing manned rockets later in the year. But he added a new wrinkle at the conference: “We expect to start selling tickets in 2019,” he said.

So far, there has been scant information about when this service would start, or how much it would cost. Meyerson didn’t give any indication on how much those tickets would cost, and Bezos said in May that the company hadn’t determined the price yet. It seems pretty likely that it’s not exactly going to be an affordable jaunt for most.

Still, it’s probably going to be cheaper than the two tourists Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to transport around the moon in 2022.

Unlike other companies aiming to turn the prospect of space tourism into a reality, Blue Origin isn’t taking reservations until it’s ready to start carrying people. Virgin Galactic, on the other hand, has taken hundreds of reservations for $250,000 tickets over the last decade, but after fatal setbacks, the company is still in the testing phase, and although founder Richard Branson expects to start flying soon, that timeline remains tenuous.