Blue Origin is making final preparations for the third crewed launch of its New Shepard rocket.
The mission was originally set for Thursday, December 9, but strong winds at the launch site in West Texas forced it to be pushed to Saturday, December 11.
The 10-minute trip to the edge of space will carry six passengers, marking the first time for Blue Origin to fill the capsule to capacity.
The crew includes invited guest Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of Alan Shepard, who was the first American in space and the person whom Blue Origin named its rocket after. Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan will also be on board as a guest of Blue Origin.
The other seats will be taken up by paying passengers Dylan Taylor, a space industry executive and philanthropist; investor Evan Dick; and Bess Ventures founder Lane Bess and his son, Cameron. The Besses are set to become the first parent-child pair to fly to space together.
Earlier this week the crew made an appearance on Good Morning America:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 8, 2021
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket will transport the six crewmembers to the Kármán line, a spot about 62 miles above Earth that’s widely regarded as the start of space. The crew will be able to view the blackness of space and the curvature of Earth, and at the highest point can leave their seats to experience several minutes of weightlessness. The capsule will then return to Earth in a parachute-assisted landing.
The suborbital space trip comes ahead of the launch of Blue Origin’s commercial space tourism service that could begin next year.
Blue Origin was set up by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000. Bezos himself was part of Blue Origin’s first crewed flight in July.
Besides its space tourism service, the company is also hoping to provide hardware for NASA to use in future missions.
Blue Origin will launch the New Shepard rocket and its crew to the edge of space on Saturday, December 11, weather conditions permitting.
The flight will begin at Launch Site One in West Texas at 9:45 a.m. ET (6:45 a.m. PT), though Blue Origin’s livestream will probably start around 90 minutes earlier.
You can watch the coverage in the video player embedded at the top of this page or via Blue Origin’s website.
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