Report: Tickets on Blue Origin’s New Shepard to Cost at Least $200,000

New Shepard crew capsule (Credit: Blue Origin)

Reuters has an update on Blue Origin’s progress toward flying people aboard its suborbital New Shepard spacecraft.

Executives at the company, started by Amazon.com Inc founder [Jeff] Bezos in 2000, told a business conference last month they planned test flights with passengers on the New Shepard soon, and to start selling tickets next year….

One Blue Origin employee with first-hand knowledge of the pricing plan said the company will start selling tickets in the range of about $200,000 to $300,000. A second employee said tickets would cost a minimum of $200,000. They both spoke on condition of anonymity as the pricing strategy is confidential.

The company will do the first test in space of its capsule escape system, which propels the crew to safety should the booster explode, “within weeks,” one of the employees said.

While Blue Origin has not disclosed its per-flight operating costs, Teal Group aerospace analyst Marco Caceres estimated each flight could cost the firm about $10 million. With six passengers per trip, that would mean losing millions of dollars per launch, at least initially.

Tickets aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo cost $250,000, although early ticket buyers will pay $200,000. Richard Branson’s company says it has sold around 650 tickets for the suborbital space hop.

  • Paul451

    People have thrown around the figure of a $billion/yr that Bezos has put into BO. But surely it can’t be more than a $billion total, given the pathetically slow rate of progress?

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    For all that coin, you’d think they would pick somewhere more glamorous than Van Horn, TX to launch out of.

  • Kirk

    “The company will do the first test in space of its capsule escape system, which propels the crew to safety should the booster explode, “within weeks,” one of the employees said.”

    How is this different from their Oct. 2017 in flight abort test?

  • 76 er

    Another un-glamorous aspect of the West Texas countryside would be rattlesnakes and scorpions. Ginger, the professor, Mary Ann et al will need to watch their step upon landing.

  • envy

    It’s remote, which is good for launching large rockets.

    And Bezos has personal history with that area.

  • Robert G. Oler

    wondering if they have a full house, if they make money

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    “The company motto is Gradatim Ferociter, Latin for Step by Step, Ferociously.”
    May be they should change their motto to
    “Gradatim Gradatim Gradatim, occasionally Ferociter, but mostly Gradatim Gradatim”

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Was the first test at max Q?. Pure grasping at straws speculation, but does “in space” require that the capsule detect the lack of air pressure and limit its acceleration so as to protect passengers from extreme g?, or control its attitude/steering sans aerodynamics?.

  • Paul451

    “Gradatim Cruciabundus”? Step by agonising step.

  • Aerospike

    I call BS on that 10 Millionen per flight estimate. Maybe initially but with a system like new Shepard that can’t be the cost for routine operations… right?

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    That doesn’t make Van Horn suck any less.

  • envy

    Propellant will be on the order of $100k, and they need to repack (or replace?) the chutes and replace the capsule landing retrorockets.

    Should be well under $10 million in cost per flight. Probably well under $1 million once thet get it flying frequently.

  • ThomasLMatula

    At least they don’t have all the alligators like the Cape has. 🙂

  • ThomasLMatula

    Better than California where they tax commercial launches. But then if a flying saucer landed in California the Governor would probably send out someone from the tax franchise board to make them pay a landing tax.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Most place rockets launch from are less then desirable for human habitation. That is why rockets are able to launch from there.

  • Ignacio Rockwill

    Brevard county isn’t bad.