Oliver Daemen, the Dutch teenager aboard Blue Origin’s first manned flight in July, occupied a seat the company auctioned for $ 28 million, a high number that shocked even some of the company’s executives. Of this, US $ 19 million was donated in equal parts to 19 space organizations. Mr Daemen, 18, wasn’t the winner. His father, a private equity manager, was runner-up at the auction and next in line after the actual winner. This unnamed person donated $ 28 million before postponing their trip due to a scheduling conflict, Blue Origin said at the time.

Tickets for the Edge of Space on Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo increased from $ 250,000 to $ 450,000 in August when the company resumed ticket sales after a year-long hiatus.

Many wealthy customers and space company executives view the high ticket prices as an early investment in the burgeoning space tourism industry in hopes that the money they invest can help lower the cost of rocket launching. Flights to orbit – a much higher altitude than Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic travel – are far more expensive. Three passengers on the International Space Station (ISS) will each pay $ 55 million next year for their seats on a SpaceX rocket purchased through Axiom Space.

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