Justin Sun Reveals He Was Secret $28M Bidder for Seat on Bezos’ Spaceship

The Tron founder is planning to nominate and pay for five crew members to accompany him on his short trip to space next year.

AccessTimeIconDec 22, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:10 p.m. UTC

Tron founder Justin Sun will be among the crew of a Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin space launch sometime next year.

Sun outbid around 2,600 people and paid $28 million for one seat on Bezos’ rocket ship back in June but couldn’t make the trip reportedly due to a scheduling conflict (he did not say what the conflict was). But according to an announcement made on Wednesday, through an agreement with Blue Origin, Sun will help select and pay for five additional crew members to join him on a launch in 2022.

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  • Blue Origin is not disclosing the cost of a ticket to space. The “New Shepard,” Blue Origin’s suborbital rocket, with room for six astronauts, has successfully launched into space three times.

    “Over the coming months, H.E. Mr. Sun will nominate five exceptional men and women to travel with him on his voyage,” the announcement said. The trip will last approximately 11 minutes.

    This isn’t the first time Sun has won a high-priced auction. In 2019, Sun won a dinner with business magnate Warren Buffett, which he canceled because of kidney stones. He later made up the dinner with Buffett and a handful of other crypto entrepreneurs in early 2020.

    Sun is launching a campaign titled “Sea of Stars” through which he plans to nominate the prospective crew members, according to the announcement. Each nominee will be an outstanding leader in his or her field, which can be anything from fashion to technology and space exploration to entrepreneurship. The announcement also said details on the nomination process and criteria will be announced in the coming months.

    “Nominees may include a member of the TRON DAO community, comprising long-term holders of TRX, BTT, JST, SUN, NFT, and WIN,” the announcement said.

    The last time Sun tried to pick winners from among TRX holders, he came under fire for allegedly botching the selection process. In 2019, Sun promised to give away a Tesla to a lucky Twitter follower that retweeted a post.

    After an online selection process that was promised to be randomized, Sun said there was an error and promised the winner, one @uzgaroth, a free ticket to the 2020 Tron convention instead. Sun drew heat from the gesture, and later promised to give away two Teslas citing transparency: one to the original winner, and another to the final select, @LeoHuynhPro.

    It is not clear if the winners received the promised Teslas.

    Sun revealed last week that he was stepping down from actively managing the Tron foundation, and announced he is the new ambassador for the Grenada government to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    Sun’s going into outer space has no financial or commercial ties to the Tron Foundation because the funds will be coming out of his own pocket, a spokesperson for Sun said in an email to CoinDesk.

    The spokesperson added that Blue Origin will be “serving as a trusted adviser on the space flight” but Sun will be making the final decision on the selection process.

    At that point, Blue Origin will have final approval over who actually travels on its rocket ship.


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    Sandali Handagama

    Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.