After a hard pandemic year, many Americans are starting to plan their summer vacations, but it's doubtful many getaways will top the one that Amazon's CEO just announced. "Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space," Bezos wrote in a Monday morning Instagram post. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend." Bezos tacked on a hashtag for "Gradatim Ferociter," a Latin phrase that means "step by step, ferociously" and that serves as the motto of his space travel company, Blue Origin. NBC News reports that Bezos and his brother, Mark, will join Blue Origin's first manned spaceflight on its New Shepard rocket, along with at least one other passenger in a seat that's being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
"I wasn't even expecting him to say that he was going to be on the first flight, and then when he asked me to go along, I was just awestruck," a beaming Mark Bezos says in the Instagram video. Per the New York Times, bidding for that other coveted seat—the rocket holds room for six tourists in total—has reached nearly $3 million, with 6,000 or so interested parties from nearly 150 countries. The live auction for that seat will be held June 12. Space News notes it's not clear who else will join the Bezoses and the auction winner on the flight. CNN Business reports that Bezos is set to be the "first of the billionaire space tycoons" to leave Earth in one of his company's spacecrafts, beating SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson to the punch. (Read more Jeff Bezos stories.)