Remember when someone paid an astounding $28 million for a seat aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed spaceflight? It is okay if you do not, especially since that person did not turn up in time to be part of history and the topic seemed to have slipped from people’s minds. However, the mystery behind the winner of the auction held to secure a seat aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft has finally been solved, and the name of the winner has come to light.
It is none other than Chinese cryptocurrency pioneer H.E. Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of blockchain platform TRON, and Grenada’s representative to the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
The surprises do not end here. While Sun had not been able to be a part of the crew due to scheduling conflicts, flying into space is still an option for him as he, along with five others chosen by him, will be going to space on Blue Origin’s flight next year. The New Shepard flight had taken off successfully in July and returned to Earth safely, and Sun’s place was taken by 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, one of the runners-up in the auction.
While Sun had been unable to be a part of the crew, he had already paid the amount, which had gone to Blue Origin’s Club for the Future, a nonprofit foundation created to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math) and to help invent the future of life in space.
This year has seen humanity’s conquest of space taken to new heights (literally) as Blue Origin, NASA, and SpaceX, undoubtedly some of the biggest names in the space game, have achieved several milestones. Slowly but steadily, other billionaires are entering the group as well as they buy their way to space. The latest name is Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who regularly gives out money on Twitter to attract followers, and returned to earth on Monday after a 12-day trip into space.
If you are curious to know who will be joining Sun for his trip to space in 2022, the entrepreneur himself has given a hint. He will be nominating five people over the coming months – while one will be a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world and another will be a TRON community member with a strong passion for space, the other three will consist of a tech entrepreneur, an artist (all of whom will be holding special status in their fields), and a socially influential celebrity.