Space ride with Jeff Bezos auctioned for $28mln

"I have 7 million right here, 7 one, now 7 million 200, 7 million 2 Sean, 7 million 3…"

Just how much would you pay for a space ride with the world's richest man?

Seven minutes into a live auction on Saturday, one bidder won that privilege for USD$28 million.

"And that is sold, 28 million dollars to number 107."

That concluded a month-long bidding process for a sight-seeing trip on rocket company Blue Origin's maiden voyage, along with founder Jeff Bezos.

The identity of the winner was not immediately disclosed.

"It's about 10 times higher in altitude than your normal commercial jet flight."

The sale illustrates a potential market for private commercial space travel.

In the month leading up to Saturday's live auction, Blue Origin said more than 6,000 people from at least 140 countries submitted bids.

Investment banking company UBS estimates a 3 BILLION annual space tourism market - by 2030.

That's with optimism that space travel will become mainstream, as technology is proven and costs fall.

The prospect is fuelling a race among tech giants to be the first to travel beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Bezos is competing against the likes of fellow billionaires Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.

Though one source familiar with the matter says Branson just might steal Bezos' thunder.

That source says Branson could possibly be on a test flight to the edge of space over the July 4th weekend.

Bezos and Saturday's winner are not expected to take off from West Texas until July 20.

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