On Wednesday, Justin Sun disclosed that he was the mysterious auction winner, who had bid a total of $28 million for securing a seat on the first crewed spaceflight of Blue Origin, only to skip it. But now, the crypto entrepreneur actually has a travel window and he is planning on handpicking five people who will join him on the trip. Sun is renowned in the market for launching the blockchain platform TRON and he will join a bunch of deep-pocketed space travelers next year in the launch. Sun made a series of posts on Twitter in which he said that it was a chance for him to realize his childhood dream.
He added that he would use the new ‘Sea of Stars’ campaign for sharing the joy with five other ‘space warriors’. Sun added that all his future crewmates would have ‘special status’ in different fields, such as technology, cryptocurrency, art and a ‘socially influential celebrity’ would also join them. He tweeted that he would reveal their identities in the run-up to the flight sequentially. According to a spokesperson for Blue Origin, the $28 million bid of the entrepreneur covers his fare, but he will pay a separate amount for the five others.
The proceeds of the auction benefit the foundation of the company, which is aimed at advancing technology, science, engineering, and mathematics education, along with the ‘future of life in space’. The big reveal by TRON’s founder is the latest move in what has been a very prolific year for spaceflights. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is already flying NASA astronauts and it has also secured the NASA contract for putting them into the moon. Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic had become one of the first ‘space barons’ back in July how flew to the edge of space. Less than two weeks after him, Jeff Bezos also followed on a Blue Origin rocket.
Initially, Sun had won the auction for accompanying Bezos on the spaceflight on July 20th, but he had to withdraw because of some ‘scheduling conflicts. The company disclosed that he had managed to outbid thousands of people belonging to more than 150 countries. An 18-year old student hailing from the Netherlands, Oliver Daemen had taken his place. The teenager had gone with Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos, along with 82-year old aviator Wally Funk and a member of Mercury 13. This is a group of women who had been trained privately for the astronaut program by NASA at the peak of the space race.
90-year old William Shatner had broken Funk’s record three months later for becoming the oldest person to go to space. Blue Origin had sent six people to space in mid-December, which also included Laura Shepard Churchley. Her father is Alan Shepard, an astronaut and the first American to go to space. Former NFL star and co-host of ‘Good Morning America’ Michael Strahan had also been aboard. Sun will take with him someone who belongs to the blockchain community and also a crypto figure who enjoys the metaverse.