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Ken Griffin wins $8 million Bezos spaceflight auction, donating seats


Ken Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel (L), Blue Origin New Shepard rocket lifts off from (R).


Ken GriffinThe billionaire CEO and founder of Citadel hedge fund, Plass et al., put the $8 million winning bid on Monday in an auction for a place on a Spaceflight. Jeff Bezos’Blue Origin.

Bezos’s company donated two seats aboard its New Shepard Rocket for an “buy one, give one” auction during the Robin Hood Annual Benefit for New York City. With the second seat going towards a NYC teacher.

Griffin, however, will not be able to launch into space by himself. Instead, he will return his seat for two educators.

CNBC was informed by a Robin Hood spokesperson that Griffin, Blue Origin, and New York City’s Department of Education will be partnering with the organisation to choose the teachers. An announcement regarding the “process” and the timeline is expected soon.

Blue Origin spokeswoman said that New Shepard’s launch date is still unknown and the company will not auction the remaining seats.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launchesFrom the company’s West Texas private facility, the crew flies over 100km, or 340,000 feet. There, the crew experience about 2 minutes of weightlessness, and then return to Earth.

Griffin’s offer is notable $20 million less than the winning bid of an auction that Blue Origin held for a seat on its inaugural New Shepard flight last year — although that ticket came with a ride along with Bezos himself.