Prime Minister Scott Morrison is firming as the hot favourite to become the world’s first paying space tourist by nabbing the sixth and last seat on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket due for liftoff in July.
Crowd funding via the #sendscottiesoaring hashtag has already gathered in close to $15 million from reportedly millions of average Australians to put towards a world-wide public auction on June 12 to secure the seat of the world’s first space tourist.
The historic July flight is by Blue Origin, founded 21 years ago by Amazon billionaire and the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos.
New Shepard, a fully autonomous spacecraft that can carry up to six people, has taken more than a dozen automated test flights with the cabin empty at Blue Origin’s facilities in Texas, nearly all of which have gone as expected.
The only stumbling block for Mr Morrison’s historic seat on the flight is that Mr Bezos will, naturally enough, be keen for a trouble-free flight to kick off what he hopes will be a very profitable space-tourism business for him.
For that reason, he may balk at the demand by all contributors to the #sendscottiesoaring crowd funding project that PM Morrison’s seat must be unbolted and welded to the outside of the New Shepard crew/passenger module with him securely strapped to it for the entire flight.