Countdown to Blue Origin’s Latest Crewed Spaceflight Launch


Launching under the banner of Jeff Bezos’ space exploration enterprise, Blue Origin is poised to propel its third crewed space mission into the skies from its Texas site this Saturday morning. Originally scheduled for Thursday, the launch was delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions and is now targeted for 9:45 a.m. EST.

Aboard this journey are six spacefarers, with four individuals purchasing seats and two distinguished guests offered complimentary access. The mission’s high-profile participants include former NFL athlete and “Good Morning America” personality Michael Strahan, alongside Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of historic American astronaut Alan Shepard. Other passengers encompass Dylan Taylor, Evan Dick, and the pioneering father-son pair of Lane and Cameron Bess, marking a first for familial space travel.

Marking its 19th venture, the New Shepard program’s upcoming mission joins a history predominantly comprising cargo and scientific investigations.

BlueOrigin Jeff Bezos spaceflight

The 19th launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle.

New Shepard’s flights are engineered for a vertical lift-off, carrying up to four passengers in its crew capsule. The ascent breaches the 62-mile mark—where Earth’s atmosphere thins into the cosmos’ vacuum—for the capsule and rocket to part ways. The round trip, including the rocket and capsule’s descent back to Earth, clocks in at around 11 minutes.

The inaugural human spaceflight by Blue Origin on July 20 saw the likes of Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, pioneering aviator Wally Fink, and the youngest ever space traveler, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, as clients. Blue Origin claims to have tallied nearly $100 million in future flight tickets, yet specific sales figures remain undisclosed.

Trailing behind fellow magnate Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight by a mere nine days, Bezos ventured into space on the anniversary of the storied Apollo 11 moon landing. His craft, unlike Branson’s crewed vessel, functioned autonomously.

Their vault into the stars was shared with various historical tokens, including Amelia Earhart’s goggles, an 18th-century hot air balloon brass medallion, and a fragment of the Wright brothers’ pioneering aircraft.

Blue Origin’s second crewed mission on October 13 witnessed the iconic Star Trek star William Shatner’s ascension, accompanied by Blue Origin’s own Audrey Powers and team members Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.

With the New Shepard spaceship, Blue Origin aspires to solidify its standing as a fixture in the realm of commercial space flight.

Ahead of Saturday’s planned departure, the flight readiness review has been finalized, as confirmed by Blue Origin. The event will be broadcast live on the company’s website, with real-time updates via their Twitter feed.

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