UNITED STATES: On Aug 4, six persons were transported to the last frontier by the company’s (Blue Origin) New Shepard suborbital spacecraft, including a handful who accomplished their first spaceflight.
Blue Origin’s West Texas facility is where New Shepard launched, and it returned to Earth after around ten minutes. Even though the trip was short, the crew members returned with some beautiful memories that they will cherish forever.
“Woo-hoo! We won’t pass away. Our struggling families,” One of the passengers, cracked a joke as the New Shepard vehicle safely plummeted to the Texas desert via its parachutes.
Six people were on the craft: Coby Cotton, one of the creators of the well-known YouTube channel Dude Perfect; Mário Ferreira and Sara Sabry, the first spacemen from Portugal and Egypt, respectively; Clint Kelly III, a pioneer in technology; Steve Young, a telecommunications executive; and Vanessa O’Brien.
O’Brien achieved the “explorers’ extreme trifecta” with the help of NS-22, making her the first woman to do so. She has now travelled to space, scaled Mount Everest, and reached the deepest part of an ocean, the Challenger Deep in the Pacific. The flight was free for Cotton and Sabry thanks to the support of the sponsors MoonDAO and Space for Humanity, respectively.
According to the organization’s website, MoonDAO wants to decentralize space access with the long-term objective of building “a self-sustaining, self-governing colony on the moon to act as a launch pad for humanity to explore the universe“. Cotton prevailed in a MoonDAO competition to board NS-22.
Space for Humanity aims to improve humankind’s access to space. Sponsoring “citizen astronauts,” a group of extraordinary people who will try their best to share with those of us who have never left Earth the life-changing perspective change that spaceflight provides, is a key component of the organization’s plan. After Katya Echazarreta, a crewmember who launched on NS-21 in June, Sabry is the second citizen astronaut to fly with Blue Origin.
Ferreira, Kelly, Young, and O’Brien apparently paid for their travel to space today. However, it’s unknown how much they paid because Blue Origin hasn’t provided information on New Shepard ticket costs. For instance, Blue Origin’s main rival in the suborbital space tourism sector, Virgin Galactic, presently charges $450,000 for a seat on its VSS Unity space aircraft. The VSS Unity has made four space flights, but it is still not fully functional.
NS-22 was Blue Origin’s sixth human spaceflight. The first launch took place in July 2021 and included:
- Firm founder Jeff Bezos.
- Jeff’s brother Mark.
- Aviation pioneer Wally Funk.
- Student Oliver Daemen.
New Shepard completed three crewed flights in 2022 after completing two more in 2021.
New Shepard is fully automatic and can be reused. The rocket makes a vertical powered landing close to the launch site before the capsule quickly lands under parachutes. The vehicle’s passengers witnessed Earth’s curve against the darkness of space and spent a few minutes in weightlessness.