A month ago, if RR Auction had announced the sale of a spacecraft seat, it would have been doing just that – offering a seat made for or removed from the spacecraft.
Boston-based auction firm has been organizing a 2-year relic sale for 10 years space race, from autographed photographs of astronauts to equipment that was delivered to the moon.
IN RR Auction Spaceship Chair for SaleHowever, this is unlike anything the company has sold before. It is not an auction sale of the opportunity to sit where an astronaut once sat, but rather an opportunity to become an astronaut by taking the first commercially available seat. place on New Shepard by Blue Origin the suborbital rocket will be launched on July 20. Founder of Blue Origin Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark will join the auction winner during the flight.
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“It’s really wild,” Bobby Livingston said. RR AuctionRussia’s executive vice president of public affairs, said in an interview. “They want to go and leave now. This is an exciting group of people who all dreamed of going. “
The group Livingston is talking about is the bidders who, since the auction began in a single lot on May 5, have raised the price of the seat to nearly $ 3 million. The bid as of Monday morning (June 7) is $ 2.8 million, which does not include the 6 percent buyer’s premium (totaling $ 2,968,000 if this bet won).
Blue origin did not disclose how many bidders or bids reflect this total, but reported that more than 5,200 people from more than 135 countries have signed up. on your website for more information about the auction and potential participation. After that, it fell to the RR Auction to make sure that everyone who wanted to place a bid had the right to do so.
“This is their website, but we are running an auction,” Livingston said. “They must give an RR Auction $ 10,000 to complete the bid. [non-refundable] deposit and they must be verified by us. We spoke with every potential Zoom bidder, so we are very active in the auction process itself. “
In addition to being financially sound, bidders also had to meet Blue Origin’s requirements to fly aboard the New Shepard capsule. The winner must be at least 18 years old, 5 feet to 6 feet, 4 inches tall (152 to 193 centimeters), weigh 110 to 223 pounds. (50 and 101 kilograms) and will be able to climb the launch tower – seven flights of stairs – in less than 90 seconds. He or she must also be able to withstand three times the force of gravity for up to two minutes and be able to reliably follow radio instructions or beacon lights.
During the first two weeks of the auction, May 5-19, all bids were closed. Open bidding then started at $ 1.4 million and rose in the first day to $ 2.8 million where it is now.
Online trading will remain open until 5:00 pm ET (9:00 pm GMT) Thursday (June 10). The sale will then be suspended for two days before the auction resumes on Saturday (June 12) at 13:00 ET (17:00 GMT).
The hiatus was planned to meet anticipated demand, Livingston said.
“I expect a lot of last minute deposits and I have to check everyone, so this was at my request because we must have time to prepare,” he said.
When the live auction begins, only those who have increased their bid limit during online bidding will be able to participate, but everyone will be able to observe. Blue Origin will broadcast the sale live on its website and YouTube.
Livingston expects the live auction to be fun to watch.
“I think there will be a lot of people on that day who will place bets on the phone. Now we don’t know what will happen between this and the 10th if people are going to bid again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the price rises much higher on the day of the auction, ”he said.
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Blue Origin donates all proceeds from the auction to its non-profit Club For the Future, which work to inspire future generations make a career in science and technology and help “reinvent the future of life in space.”
As for who will win the auction, neither Blue Origin nor RR Auction are sharing any details about the bidders, but Livingston said many seem to share interest with his more typical auction participants…
“I know a lot of bidders collect or have some kind of space memorabilia because I spoke to them on the Zoom phone and can see what’s behind them on their walls and shelves,” he told collectSPACE.com.
The $ 2.8 million bid already exceeds the highest amount received by RR Auction for anything related to space. The previous record was set in 2015 when RR Auction sold Bulova chronograph worn on the lunar surface for $ 1.625 million. (The largest amount ever paid in public auctions for space memorabilia was $ 2,055,000 for a gold medallion that Neil Armstrong sent to the moon.)
The RR Auction agreement with Blue Origin prohibits the firm from selling its services to bidders, and Blue Origin’s terms prevent the winner from selling any items they choose to fly to New Shepard.
“Every astronaut is allowed to fly with a small bag of personal belongings, and we hope they have such a special experience that they feel inspired to share their experience with others,” said a Blue Origin spokesman.
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