In the morning, Blue Origin, a company dedicated to space tourism, will launch its fourth passenger mission to the edge of space and back. Blue Origin’s first commercial trip will have a crew of six, including five paying passengers and one business employee.
This mission was originally scheduled to take place on March 23rd, with SNL actor and comedian Pete Davidson as a guest. However, due to a last-minute scheduling change by Blue Origin, Davidson was no longer able to join the trip. Blue Origin exchanged Gary Lai, the New Shepard’s primary architect, for his seat in order to fill the vacancy.
Couple Marc and Sharon Hagle are among the other team members. Founded by Marc and Sharon Hagle, Tricor International is a residential and commercial development company, while SpaceKids Global is a non-profit promoting STEAM education. They include “turnaround CEO” Marty Allen, and “teacher, entrepreneur, and globetrotter” Jim Kitchen. George Nield, a former FAA assistant administrator in charge of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, completes the team. He used to be in charge of approving the launches he’s about to take off on.
At least one seat has been reserved for a celebrity on every Blue Origin passenger trip, which is still in its infancy. In December, Good Morning America host Michael Strahan and Star Trek captain William Shatner were on the same aircraft. New Shepard’s maiden crewed flight took place in the summer of 2021, and Jeff Bezos, the creator of Blue Origin, was one of the passengers. Wally Funk, a famed female pilot, was also on board.
In order to transport its passengers to orbit, the New Shepard uses a vertical takeoff from Blue Origin’s launchpad in Van Horn, Texas. Capsules are attached to the vehicle’s roof for crew members to travel in. Together, the rocket and capsule ascend into space, where they separate at a height of around 65 miles. For a few short moments, passengers will experience weightlessness and be treated to a stunning perspective of the Earth’s curvature. Later, after re-igniting the rocket’s engine and letting go of the parachute, both the rocket and the capsule fall down to Earth.
At 8:10 a.m. ET, Blue Origin will begin broadcasting live coverage of the mission, which is planned to launch an hour later. This journey may not include any big-name stars, but if Blue Origin’s travels to space grow more frequent, we may expect to see more of the same from the firm.