Move on, William Shatner, it’s Michael Strahan’s turn to travel out of this world.
The “Good Morning America” host will be on Blue Origin’s next space flight, the former NFL football player announced on the morning show on Tuesday. It will take off with a crew of five other passengers on December 9.
“Blue Origin – they approached me and they asked me if I wanted to be a member of the team and without hesitation I said ‘yes’,” Strahan told his ‘GMA’ co-hosts, Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. “I wanted to go to space!”
The 50-year-old TV personality covered Jeff Bezos’ first human space launch of Blue Origin this summer and since then has been “in love” with human space travel, he said. Its trip will be the aerospace company’s third manned space flight.
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“It’s going to take a while, but I think it’s going to bring us a lot of technological breakthroughs and innovations here on earth… and I just wanted to be a part of it,” he said.
Strahan has already prepared for his trip, putting on his spacesuit and testing his flight seat. Then he will travel to West Texas for more training.
Joining him in flight includes Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard; space industry philanthropist Dylan Taylor; investor Evan Dick; and Lane Bess and Cameron Bess’s very first parent-child pair. Churchley and Strahan are honored guests on the flight, while the other four crew members are paying customers.
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Strahan isn’t the first familiar face to go to space. Shatner, who is best known for his role in the original “Star Trek” series and the first six films in the “Star Trek” film franchise, exploded into space with Blue Origin in October.
The 90-year-old actor became the oldest person to visit space, and he described an emotional experience after returning to Earth.
“Everyone has to do it. Everyone has to see it,” Shatner said. “It was amazing. The little things – weightlessness – but seeing the blue color (of the sky) whip through you and now you look in the dark.… And then it’s gone. It was so touching. This experience. did something amazing. “
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Blue Origin’s first manned space flight launched on July 20, when it flew over Bezos, Bezos’ brother Mark, Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk (formerly the oldest person in space) and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen (son of a hedge fund manager) to the suborbital space.
Within minutes, the group lifted off from the West Texas desert, reaching space and returning to Earth in a soft parachute landing.
“Best day ever,” said Jeff Bezos after landing, greeted by a sea of Blue Origin employees and other enthusiastic people on the company’s campus.
This was New Shepard’s 16th flight, the 60-foot rocket designed primarily for space tourism, but the first to include people. Bezos said sales of private seats on his flights are approaching $ 100 million.
Contribution: Hannah Yasharoff, Jenna Ryu