Jeff Bezos (left) is set to launch aboard the New Shepard rocket (right) on July 20.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images; Blue Origin
  • Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is auctioning a seat on its New Shepard space flight on July 20.
  • The live auction will take place on Saturday, and pre-auction bidding has closed at $4.8 million.
  • Bezos will be on the flight alongside the auction winner.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Bidding for a seat alongside Jeff Bezos onboard New Shepard, the Blue Origin rocket due to blast off on July 20, has officially closed ahead of a live auction on Saturday.

The highest bid at the closing of registration on Thursday was $4.8 million (R65,484,311 million), according to Blue Origin's website. The live auction will take place on Saturday, June 12, at 12:45 pm EDT.

Jeff Bezos, who owns Blue Origin, announced on Monday he would be on the first human flight of New Shepard along with his brother. Pre-auction bidding has been open since May, and before Bezos' announcement the highest bid was $2.8 million (R38,199,181 million).

Read more: An ex-engineer from Jeff Bezos' space company has raised $650 million for his rocket-printing startup above a $4 billion valuation

The flight will last just 11 minutes, taking the passengers to the edge of space. Bezos and the other passengers will be weightless and able to float about the cabin for roughly three minutes, as reported by Insider's Morgan McFall-Johnsen.

New Shepard can carry six people, but so far only Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and the auction winner have been confirmed as passengers.

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