Ken Griffin Wins $8 Million Bezos Spaceflight Auction, Donates Seats


Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO, Citadel (L) and the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket takes off (R)

Reuters

Ken Griffin, billionaire founder and CEO of the Citadel hedge fund, placed the winning bid of $8 million at an auction on Monday for a seat on a spaceflight with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Bezos’ company donated two seats on its New Shepard rocket for a “buy one, give one” auction at the annual nonprofit Robin Hood benefit for New York City , with the second seat going to a teacher from New York.

But Griffin won’t launch into space himself, instead returning his seat so two Educators can fly.

A spokesperson for Robin Hood told CNBC that the organization will partner with Griffin, Blue Origin and the New York Department of Education to select the two teachers for spaceflight, saying an announcement on the “process and timing” will be coming soon.

A Blue Origin spokesperson added that the timing of New Shepard’s launch has yet to be set and the company has no plans to auction off the flight’s remaining four seats.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches from the company’s private facility in West Texas and flies above 100 kilometers altitude, or about 340,000 feet, where the crew experiences about two minutes of dizziness. weightlessness before returning to Earth.

Notably, Griffin’s bid is $20 million less than the winning bid from an auction Blue Origin held for a seat on its inaugural New Shepard flight last year – although that ticket comes with of a ride with Bezos himself.


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