Science

Winner of Blue Origin $ 28 million auction to fly with 5 ‘space warriors’ next year

The identity of the winner of the Blue Origin spaceflight auction is no longer a mystery.

Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of the blockchain platform Tron, announced today (December 22) that he is the person who paid $ 28 million for a seat aboard Blue Origin’s first manned space flight.

That mission launched on July 20 and took Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and three other people into suborbital space on the company’s New Shepard spacecraft. However, the unidentified auction winner at the time was not among them and remained grounded due to scheduling conflicts, Blue Origin representatives said at the time.

In Photos: Blue Origin’s First New Shepard Passenger Launch With Jeff Bezos

But it turns out that Sun’s spaceflight dreams were simply postponed, not thwarted. The 31-year-old businessman said today that he plans to fly a New Shepard mission next year, along with five other “space warriors” he will nominate.

Sun described what he’s looking for today in a Twitter thread. A nominated crew member will be “a prominent figure in crypto[currency] world, “he said. Another will be a member of the Tron community” with a strong passion for space, “and another will be a tech entrepreneur. The fourth and fifth nominees will be an artist and a celebrity, respectively.

More details on the nomination process and the criteria involved will be released in the coming months, Blue Origin representatives said.

Sun’s $ 28 million offer went to Club for the Future, Blue Origin’s nonprofit organization. Club for the Future aims to inspire children to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology and mathematics “and help invent the future of life in space,” according to the organization’s website.

Sun said it shares these ambitious goals.

“With the rapid development of the commercial aerospace industry, entering space can become a dream that every person can realize in their lifetime. We are entering the era of great space flights. This great journey requires more people to get involved.” Sun said in a Blue Origin Statement.

“Blue Origin’s initiative to take more people into space to see Earth as our unique common home is extraordinary,” he added. “Club for the Future offers a way to use that experience to inspire young people around the world to dream and act on their dreams of science, technology and space exploration. I felt compelled to help advance that vision through my offering. “.

Sun was born and raised in China, but the Caribbean nation of Grenada recently appointed him an ambassador to the World Trade Organization. Sun will be the first Grenadian, the first international diplomat and the first blockchain industry leader to travel into space, according to Blue Origin.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.

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