Watch Blue Origin launch its fifth passenger flight to the far reaches of space


On Saturday morning, aerospace company Blue Origin is set to conduct its fifth sightseeing flight, sending a crew of six to the far reaches of space and out of West Texas. Again, this is a flight without any big celebrities on board, as the company moves on to making those quick space jaunts relatively routine.

The flight, called NS-21, comes just two months after Blue Origin’s last sightseeing trip on March 31. This mission sent five paying customers and one company employee – the first time no big name flew. The Blue Origin employee was actually a last-minute replacement for comedian and actor Pete Davidson, who was originally scheduled to fly but had to drop out due to scheduling issues when the assignment was delayed. Prior to this flight, Blue Origin made it a point to have at least one celebrity onboard its flights, including CMG presenter Michael Strahan, star trek star William Shatner, legendary aviator Wally Funk and, famously, company founder Jeff Bezos.

There are no household names on this flight, but there are a few notable flyers on this trip. Evan Dick, an engineer and investor, becomes Blue Origin’s first regular flyer, having already flown into space on the company’s third crewed mission. And Katya Echazarreta, STEM communicator and YouTube host, will become the first Mexican-born woman to fly in space. His seat on the flight is sponsored by Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization that aims to expand “access to space for all humanity” by funding tickets on Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic flights for those who otherwise could not afford it.

Victor Correa Hespanha also enjoys a sponsored flight, this one from a group called Crypto Space Agency. The group of crypto enthusiasts poses as a space agency for “Crypto Nation” and funds space-related projects by selling NFTs. The first NFT airdrop offered a chance to fly into space, and Hespanha was randomly chosen to perform the first flight. The CSA plans to purchase more space tickets for its members, “seek first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence” and “protect the planet from catastrophic asteroid impacts.”

Hamish Harding, airline pilot and president of his own business jet brokerage firm, and Jaison Robinson, investor, adventurer and former reality TV contestant, are also on the flight. Survivor: Samoa. Finally, there’s Victor Vescovo, who co-founded his own private equity firm and dived to the deepest point in the ocean up to 12 times and reached the highest point on each of the seven continents.

The six will fly on Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital rocket, which is designed to send passengers to an altitude of about 65 miles beyond the limits of space. The vehicle lifts off from Blue Origin’s launch facility near Van Horn, Texas, carrying customers in a capsule perched atop the rocket. Once at a certain height, the capsule and the rocket separate, and customers experience a few minutes of weightlessness seeing the curvature of the Earth from space. Eventually, the rocket and the capsule fall back to the ground; the rocket lands upright using its engine while the capsule lands under parachutes.

This next flight was originally scheduled to take place on May 20, but Blue Origin delayed the mission after discovering that one of New Shepard’s backup systems “did not meet our performance expectations,” the company said. Now the flight is back for June 4, with a launch window currently scheduled to open at 9 a.m. ET. If you’ve ever seen a New Shepard flight, this one will look more or less like the others, if all goes well. But, if you still can’t get enough of New Shepard flights, Blue Origin’s coverage begins about an hour before takeoff.


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