Blue Origin space tourists celebrate successful mission
While one of the Blue Origin NS-22 passengers joked his group was “not going to die” on the way down from space Thursday (Aug. 4), the six space tourists told reporters the 11-minute flight was the experience of a lifetime.
“It was more than anything I can put words to. To be honest, I did not expect it to be so emotional,” said mechanical and biomedical engineer Sara Sabry, the first person from Egypt to reach space. Sabry is also the founder of Deep Space Initiative (DSI), a nonprofit aiming to increase accessibility for space research.
The mission is Blue Origin’s sixth crewed spaceflight.
NS-22 passengers exit the New Shepard spacecraft
The six passengers of NS-22 are exiting their Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft, meeting with family, friends and well-wishers in the Texas desert.
To recap: New Shepard lifted off from Blue Origin’s West Texas site at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1357 GMT) and was back on Earth about 11 minutes later.
The six people on board were Coby Cotton, one of the founders of the popular YouTube channel Dude Perfect; Mário Ferreira and Sara Sabry, who became the first people from Portugal and Egypt, respectively, to reach space; technology pioneer Clint Kelly III; telecommunications executive (not former NFL quarterback) Steve Young; and Vanessa O’Brien.
Touchdown of NS-22
Touchdown of NS-22 was just achieved in the Texas desert.
NS-22 descending under parachute
The NS-22 crew is now descending under their parachute, back to Earth.
NS-22 booster makes a landing
The Blue Origin booster that hefted the NS-22 spacecraft into space has made a landing near the launch site in Texas.
Crew now floating free during NS-22 missions
“Sounds like they’re having fun upstairs,” the Blue Origin broadcast said as the passengers of NS-22 floated free during their brief weightless period. Audio of their exclamations came down from suborbital space, with one of the passengers shouting, “We’re doing it!”
Main engine cutoff of NS-22
The NS-22 mission has now achieved main engine cutoff, with New Shepard getting ready to enter suborbital space for a brief “weightless” period for its passengers.
Liftoff on NS-22
Blue Origin’s NS-22 lifted off at 9:57 a.m. EDT (1357 GMT) on the company’s sixth suborbital crewed spaceflight.
NS-22 go for launch
After a poll in Blue Origin’s Mission Control, NS-22 is go for launch.
New Shepard exits hold
The NS-22 mission has exited its hold with an approximate launch time now of 9:57 a.m. EDT (1357 GMT).
New Shepard launch enters hold
The NS-22 launch is in a hold; Blue Origin officials have not yet said on the broadcast why, or how long it will last.
NS-22 climbing into New Shepard spacecraft
Following audio issues that affected the broadcast, the NS-22 group is now visible on screen showing the six people climbing into the New Shepard spacecraft.
Blue Origin delays launch to 9:50 EDT
A Twitter update from Blue Origin says the mission has been delayed by about 20 minutes to 9:50 a.m. EDT (1350 GMT).
“#NewShepard is on the pad,” the update stated (opens in new tab). “The countdown clock is proceeding towards liftoff within today’s launch window. Due to overnight storms at Launch Site One, we are currently targeting T-0 time at 8:50 a.m. CDT / 13:50 UTC.”
Watch Blue Origin launch NS-22 to suborbital space
The next crew to launch on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is scheduled to fly Thursday (Aug. 4) at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT).
The sixth human spaceflight for the company will see a New Shepard suborbital vehicle lift off from Blue Origin’s West Texas site. You can watch live here at Space.com, courtesy of Blue Origin, or directly via the company (opens in new tab). Coverage will begin 30 minutes before launch.
The mission — known as NS-22 because it’s the 22nd overall New Shepard flight — will carry six people, including Coby Cotton, one of the founders of the popular YouTube channel Dude Perfect.
NS-22 crew announced
Blue Origin unveiled the identities of the next six individuals who will fly to suborbital space. The passengers for the NS-22 mission include the first Egyptian and Portuguese astronauts, Blue Origin announced (opens in new tab) July 22.
A flight date has not yet been announced, but the timing will be revealed soon, the company added in a statement. The six individuals include:
- Sara Sabry, founder of the Deep Space Initiative and the first person from Egypt to fly to space;
- Mário Ferreira, president of Pluris Investments group and the first person from Portugal to fly into space;
- Vanessa O’Brien, a former financial manager and current British-American explorer seeking to become the first woman to complete the Explorers’ extreme trifecta of reaching space;
- Clint Kelly III, former military official including at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA);
- Steve Young, who ran a telecommunications contracting business in Florida;
- Coby Cotton, who co-founded the YouTube channel Dude Perfect.
More information is available in our Blue Origin NS-22 announcement story.
All six NS-21 astronauts are now out of their ride to space and are celebrating their successful spaceflight with family members and Blue Origin officials.
The New Shepard crew capsule with Evan Dick, Katya Echazarreta, Hamish Harding, Victor Correa Hespanha, Jaison Robinson and Victor Vescovo aboard has safely landed, depending under parachutes and being cushioned by a last-minute blast of air.
Back to Earth
The New Shepard rocket that launch today’s NS-21 mission has returned to Earth, firing its engine for a propulsive landing on four legs.
This was the seventh launch and landing for this booster.
Welcome to Space!
Unofficial numbers suggest that Blue Origin’s NS-21 passengers reached an apogee of about 351,183 feet (107,040 meters).
Katya Echazarreta, Hamish Harding, Victor Correa Hespanha, Jaison Robinson and Victor Vescovo are now the 623rd to 627th people to fly above the U.S.-recognized boundary of 50 miles (80 km) to become astronauts. (Evan Dick, having flown before, was number 609.)
‘RSS First Step’ Away!
The New Shepard booster and crew capsule have separated.
Soon, the booster will begin its descent back to Earth as the capsule, “RSS First Step,” coasts the rest of the way to space.
New Shepard has launched at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 GMT).
Message From A Moonwalker
Apollo 16 moonwalker Charlie Duke is in Blue Origin’s Mission Control for today’s launch and had a special message for the NS-21 crew.
“Congratulations on this flight that you’re about to embark on,” said Duke. “I know you’re going to have an exciting adventure, just as I did 50 years ago.”
“Have a great ride and I look forward to seeing you when you get back. Godspeed,” he said.
Passengers Strap Into New Shepard for Launch
After receiving a brief safety review, the six NS-21 space tourists have crossed the gantry and boarded “RSS First Step,” Blue Origin’s crew-configured capsule. Each crew member has their own window seat — the largest windows ever launched into space.
NS-21 Space Tourists Depart for Launch Pad
The space tourists flying on today’s NS-21 mission are suited up and have left for their launchpad.
The six are riding to their rocket in electric Riven trucks. Once at Launch Site One, they will climb seven flights of stairs and cross a gantry to board New Shepard.
T-minus 40 minutes and counting…
Launch Day for Blue Origin’s NS-21 Space Tourists
The countdown is on for Blue Origin’s fifth crewed flight for its New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle and the 21st in its history. Six passengers — including Blue Origin’s first repeat customer — are set to lift off at 9:00 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) and you can watch it live on Space.com beginning at 8:00 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT).
Today’s launch will include the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to become a space tourist and the second Brazilian to fly into space. It also marks the start of Space for Humanity’s civilian astronaut program, with the non-profit sending its first sponsored leader on a mission to implement the overview effect here on Earth.
The NS-21 mission’s passengers include:
- Evan Dick, the first person to fly on New Shepard twice, having previously launched on NS-19 in December 2021.
- Katya Echazarreta, the first to fly as part of Space for Humanity’s sponsored Citizen Astronaut Program, which is led by Dylan Taylor, who flew on NS-19 with Dick.
- Hamish Harding, who previously broke the Round-the-World record for any aircraft flying over the North and South poles, flying alongside former NASA astronaut Terry Virts.
- Victor Correa Hespanha, self-described as the world’s first cryptonaut, his seat is sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency.
- Jaison Robinson, a contestant on the television reality show “Survivor” in 2009.
- Victor Vescovo, the first person to repeatedly dive to the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep (now twelve times), including dives with former astronauts Kathy Sullivan and Richard Garriott, as well as his NS-21 crewmate Hamish Harding.
All six passengers either paid for or were sponsored to fly on New Shepard. Blue Origin has not disclosed what each have paid for a flight, or what a single seat costs.
Leading up to today, the NS-21 crew spent two days at Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site training for the launch.
Blue Origin clears New Shepard for NS-21 crew launch
Blue Origin has officially given the “go” for its New Shepard rocket to launch six passengers on the suborbital NS-21 mission on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Liftoff is targeted for 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT).
Blue Origin will livestream the launch on YouTube beginning at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT). Here’s a look at Blue Origin’s countdown schedule for the mission.
#NS21 is officially “go” for launch tomorrow. Learn more: https://t.co/1ztUVUURgn. Live webcast of begins at T-60 minutes on https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr. Here’s what to expect on launch day. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/PWHOxAl09vJune 3, 2022
Blue Origin’s next space tourist flight
Blue Origin is counting down to the launch of its NS-21 space tourist mission on June 4 from the company’s West Texas-based Launch Site One near Van Horn. Liftoff is set for 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), with a webcast beginning one hour before launch time at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT).
The mission has been delayed since May 20, when technical issues and the need for more booster checks on its New Shepard rocket prompted the company to stand down from the mission.
NS-21 will launch six passengers on a short suborbital spaceflight, with the New Shepard booster returning to Earth for a vertical landing and the crew capsule parachuting to the surface shortly afterward.
The crew of Blue Origin’s NS-21 mission includes:
Evan Dick will be the first person to fly aboard a New Shepard spacecraft twice, having been a participant in the NS-19 mission of Dec. 11, 2021. He is a pilot, engineer, investor and managing member of Dick Holdings, LLC. Previously, he was senior vice president of D.E. Shaw and managing director of Highbridge Capital Management. He supports the Darwin Foundation, Population Relief International Corp. and Starfighters Aerospace either through charity or as a volunteer, according to Blue Origin’s NS-21 mission announcement.
Katya Echazarreta, born in Guadalajara, will become the first Mexican-born individual to visit space. She is the co-host of the YouTube series “Netflix IRL” and “Electric Kat” on the CBS show “Mission Unstoppable.” She spent nearly four years at NSAA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, working on space missions including the Perseverance Mars rover and Europa Clipper, which will launch toward the Jupiter moon Europa in 2024. She is pursuing a masters degree in electrical and computer engineering at Johns Hopkins University and aims to “provide representation for women and minorities” for those interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to Blue Origin. Her seat was sponsored by the nonprofit Space for Humanity.
Hamish Harding is chair of the business jet brokerage company Action Aviation, as well as a business jet pilot. He holds several aviation world records, including a 2019 milestone with retired NASA astronaut Terry Virts for breaking a round-the-world record for aircraft flying over the north and south poles. Harding has also visited the South Pole twice and dove to 36,000 feet (nearly 10,100 meters) in a submarine in 2021.
Victor Correa Hespanha
Victor Correa Hespanha, 28, is a civil production engineer from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. His seat was sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency, and he is identifying himself as the world’s first cryptonaut. He is also the second Brazilian to fly in space, according to Blue Origin.
Jaison Robinson founded the commercial real estate company JJM Investments and co-founded Dream Variations Ventures with his wife, Jamie. Robinson lists himself as an avid scuba diver and skydiver with a variety of adventurous activities under his belt, such as breaking the sound barrier in a Mig-29 jet, making Eagle Scout, playing water polo at Stanford University and becoming a finalist in “Survivor: Samoa” in 2009.
Victor Vescovo is a co-founder of the private equity investment firm Insight Equity. He completed an “Explorer’s Grand Slam,” which is an adventurer community term for skiing to the North and South Poles and climbing the highest mountains on the world’s seven continents, including Everest. He is a commercially rated multi-engine jet and helicopter pilot, as well as a certified submersible test pilot, and he has visited the Challenger Deep (the deepest point in the ocean) 12 times, according to Blue Origin. He also served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer, retiring as a commander.
Below you can scroll down to see Blue Origin’s last space tourist flight NS-20 in March 2022.
Hear from Blue Origin passengers
Passengers on today’s Blue Origin suborbital launch shared their comments about the flight after exiting the capsule. “That is an eternal black,” Jim Kitchen said of his view of space. “It’s just breathtaking.”
“The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen”
All six passengers have exited the New Shepard capsule and reunited with friends and family who were on hand to greet them. They will now receive astronaut wings from Blue Origin’s Audrey Powers, who herself flew on a mission in October.
Blue Origin personnel are on scene at the landing site and are preparing to assist the six crewmembers out of the New Shepard capsule.
Blue Origin personnel have spoken with all six crewmembers inside the landed capsule and are approaching the touchdown site to retrieve the passengers.
Back to Earth
Both booster and capsule have touched down in the West Texas desert at the end of about 10 minutes of flight for six passengers.
Unofficial numbers suggest that Blue Origin’s NS-20 mission reached an apogee of about 351,000 feet (107,000 meters).
New Shepard’s booster and capsule seen shortly after separation on March 31, 2022.
Final minutes to launch
Launch of Blue Origin’s NS-20 crewed mission is less than 3 minutes away, with final checks underway.
Blue Origin has resumed counting down to launch today; launch will now occur just a few minutes before 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).
New Shepard remains in a hold
Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle remains in a hold at T-9:59 as the delay nears half an hour. The company has not offered any details about the cause of the hold. Astronauts remain strapped into their seats in the capsule.
Gantry pulls away from New Shepard rocket
The gantry of Blue Origin’s Launch Site One has pulled away from the New Shepard rocket as the NS-20 crew awaits launch.
Blue Origin is still at T-9 minutes, 59 seconds and holding as flight controllers check the rocket’s systems and weather conditions for today’s launch.
Blue Origin holds countdown for NS-20 launch
Blue Origin has stopped its launch countdown at T-10 minutes from launch.
The company has not stated the reason for the hold yet.
The NS-20 passengers are buckled in for launch and just received a message from Blue Origin’s NS-19 crew, the first six-person crew. One message from Michael Strahan was particularly cheering: “This is the best ride ever have, but it’s way too short,” he wrote.
Blue Origin passenger carrying Ukrainian flag to space
Blue Origin NS-20 passenger Jim Kitchen will take a small Ukrainian flag to space on New Shepard’s launch, along with the passport he used to visit the country, which will be in the flight suit pocket over his heart for today’s launch, Blue Origin reports.
The NS-20 crew has arrived at their New Shepard capsule and are now ingressing the spacecraft. Earlier, they crossed a gantry and rang a ceremonial ships bell before reaching the capsule.
Blue Origin NS-20 crew arrives at launch pad
Blue Origin’s NS-20 crew has arrived at Launch Site One to prepare to board their New Shepard spacecraft. As they arrived, dawn broke over their West Texas launch site.
The private astronauts are now climbing the seven-story gantry to reach the boarding level for New Shepard.
Blue Origin gives go for NS-20 crew departure.
Blue Origin has cleared its NS-20 space tourist passengers to head to the launch pad and board their New Shepard spacecraft.
The passengers will head over in electric Riven trucks. Once at the Launch Site One pad, they’ll climb seven flights of stairs and cross a gantry to board New Shepard.
It’s currently dark at Blue Origin’s launch site as the sun has yet to rise.
Blue Origin NS-20 launch webcast live
Blue Origin’s launch webcast for the NS-20 mission is live about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Blue Origin appears to now be targeting 9:10 a.m. EDT (1310 GMT) for its launch today.
Blue Origin reports it is running ahead of its timeline for today’s planned launch. Here’s a look at the launch timeline from Blue Origin.
We’re running ahead of schedule; live webcast will begin at 7:10 am CDT / 12:10 UTC on https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr. Here are the key moments during today’s countdown to launch to look for on the webcast:March 31, 2022
#NewShepard is on the pad for its 20th mission. Flight controllers are working through nominal check-outs in advance of today’s launch. Before liftoff, meet the #NS20 crew as they prepare for their journey to space. pic.twitter.com/O999O1Zdw1March 31, 2022
It’s launch day for Blue Origin’s NS-20 space tourists
Blue Origin is counting down to launch its next space tourist mission, NS-20, from its Launch Site One in West Texas today. The mission will launch at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT) and you’ll be able to watch it live on Space.com beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).
Today’s mission will mark Blue Origin’s first crewed flight of 2022 and the company’s fourth crewed flight overall since it began launching passengers to space in July 2021. That first Blue Origin carried the company’s founder Jeff Bezos, among others. Bezos will likely be on hand for today’s launch as he has driven past crews to the launch pad himself.
This mission will carry six passengers. They include:
- Gary Lai, the chief architect of the New Shepard system, a reusable rocket-capsule combo. He joined Blue Origin in 2004 and was one of its first 20 employees;
- Sharon Hagle, the founder of SpaceKids Global, a nonprofit that was established in 2015 to encourage students, especially girls, to push forward their STEAM (science, technology, education, art and math) education and pursue careers in space. SpaceKids is also a participant in “Postcards to Space,” a program run by Blue Origin’s nonprofit organization Club for the Future.
- Marc Hagle, husband of Sharon, is president and CEO of the property development corporation Tricor International.
- Marty Allen, a past CEO and a current angel investor and mentor. He was the former CEO of the California Closet Company, which provides custom home storage ideas, along with Party America, which is now a nationwide retailer.
- Jim Kitchen, a faculty member of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and an entrepreneur.
- George Nield, president of Commercial Space Technologies, LLC, which seeks to broaden commercial space activities, and the former associate administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.
Gary Lai and George Nield are flying on this mission as guests of Blue Origin, while the other crewmembers are paying passengers. Blue Origin has not disclosed what each of the paying passengers have paid for a flight on New Shepard, or what a single seat costs.
The NS-20 crew has spent the last two days training for today’s flight. Here are some photos from the training.