If You Could Afford to Go to Space, Would You? Igor Tasic Shares Why He Bid on a Seat on Bezos’ Spaceship

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock (10538400b)Jeff Bezos speaks at an event to unveil Blue Origin's Blue Moon lunar lander in Washington.
Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock / Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock

Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is flying its first-ever astronaut crew to space via a rocket called New Shepard on July 20. In June, a seat on the spacecraft was auctioned off for $28 million. In a statement, Blue Origin puts it simply: “This seat will change how you see the world.”

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The money collected from the auction will go to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, “to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space,” according to a statement.

What is 10 minutes in space truly worth? How do private citizens feel about taking on a journey that pilots and soldiers take months or even years to train for? GOBankingRates spoke with one of the bidders to find out.

Igor Tasic, a member of The World Economic Forum Digital Leaders of Europe, told GOBankingRates that the most exciting aspect of being able to bid on the seat is the actual possibility “of understanding and being closer to the Cosmos in a totally different dimension.”

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His work at the WEF relates to creating and promoting innovation hubs. “As COVID [unfolds], the future of innovation (and work at large) will be decentralized. A kid starting a business in the countryside of France or Brazil can now indeed be on par with other kids in Silicon Valley or Tel-Aviv. And this will create new paths for systemic inclusion in innovation in years to come,” he said.

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Tasic said he’s always been interested in space, particularly remembering the launch of the Hubble Telescope in 1990 and later the construction of the International Space Station, which started in the late 1990s.

“Most of us can only intellectually understand what space is. But being actually there, fully conscious of how infinitesimal tiny you are (in comparison to Earth and the Universe), somehow gets you closer to a universal truth about things. I can’t think of a more transformative experience for a human than experience (and travel through) space,” Tasic shared.

Asked about whether this bid represents the biggest splurge of his life, Tasic, who declined to comment on how much he will bid, said, “It’s the biggest investment in my understanding of the truth.”

And asked about what he thinks he could get out of it, he said “a new level of understanding of the truth in its pure universal sense.”

Blue Origin hasn’t disclosed estimated pricing details yet. But for reference, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which will also fly private customers to space, is planning on charging more than $250,000 for a ticket, according to its website, adding that “we have not yet announced final pricing.” The company plans to re-open for sales of its spaceflight seats following Branson’s flight.

Tasic said he doesn’t plan on bidding or buying seats on competitors’ crafts, such as Virgin Galactic, as Tasic feels most aligned with Bezos’ vision of space.

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“Less of a ‘sci-fi,’ cool experience and more like a natural evolutionary step for humanity. Meaning, if this project succeeds, we will have a new infrastructure available for all to actually experience space. Like our great-grandparents experienced the telephone or electricity. I see it more like a utility of the 21st century. Such a pragmatic vision is the one that will allow my sons (now 7- and 9-years-old) to fully explore the near-space as we do with aviation,” he commented.

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He adds that very few people are giving the appropriate credit for this initiative and others like NASA’s Perseverance and Ingenuity. “In a world forever transformed by a virus, space is an infinite source of inspiration,” he said.

In terms of the future of private vs. public space travel, Tasic said he believes this next step in space travel will open a totally new platform for both scientific and entrepreneurial endeavors.

“Public agencies will push the limits of science (e.g., discovering life signs on Mars), whereas private space travel will create this dual dimension of what it means to be human outside of Earth while experimenting with this idea of inventing new things never imagined,” he adds.

Tasic has never met Bezos, but said he’s been a long-time admirer of his approach to system-building, which he describes as more in line with what Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have done over the last decades.

“I think he is the true Buffett ‘heir’ in business philosophy. In contrast, Musk is more a sign of our times … Although I connect with him in his sincere sentiment about Mars exploration,” he added.

If you’re interested in bidding, there are three phases of the Blue Origin auction:

  • May 5 to 19, sealed online bidding: You can bid any amount you want on the auction website (no bids are visible).
  • Starting May 19, unsealed online bidding: Bidding becomes visible and participants must exceed the highest bid to continue in the auction.
  • June 12, bidding concludes: Everything will be finalized over a live online auction.

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The sealed online auction seamlessly accepts bids up to $50,000 — any higher, and the company requires additional verification, including a $10,000 deposit.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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