. 24/7 Space News .
Blue Origin launches 4th crew to space
by Amy Thompson
Washington DC (UPI) Mar 31, 2021

Blue Origin launched the fourth crewed mission of its New Shepard rocket Thursday morning from Texas, carrying a crew of six to the edge of space and back.

The successful liftoff followed a 48-hour delay due to poor weather conditions at the launch site.

The NS-20 mission lifted off at 8:58 a.m. CDT from the company's launch facility near Van Horn, Texas, toting five space tourists and the company's own spacecraft designer.

Flying as part of the "Roaring 20s crew," a nod to this being Blue Origin's 20th flight of the New Shepard system, is Gary Lai, one of Blue's own employees.

Lai was joined by Marty Allen, married couple Sharon Hagle and Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen and George Nield.

"Gary [Lai] is best known as the architect of the New Shepard system," Blue Origin said in a statement. "He leads the team responsible for the design and development of many of the key safety systems on the Crew Capsule, and was among the [company's] first 20 employees."

Last week, Blue Origin announced that Lai would be flying in place of Pete Davidson, star of "Saturday Night Live," after an undisclosed schedule conflict forced the comedian to back out of the flight.

Flying on the rocket he helped design will enable both Lai and Blue Origin to evaluate the vehicle's performance and safety features, as well as the crew capsule and its capabilities, the company said.

Lai, along with Nield, flew as guests of Blue Origin, with the other four passengers having paid an undisclosed amount of money for their seats.

Nield is the president of Commercial Space Technologies, which was founded to facilitate and promote commercial space opportunities. He is also a former manager of the Flight Integration Office for NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

Mark and Sharon Hagle are the first married couple to fly together on a commercial spacecraft. Sharon founded Space for Kids, a non-profit designed to inspire students to pursue careers in the STEM industry. Mark is the CEO of a property development corporation.

Kitchen is a teacher and entrepreneur who has been a lifelong space fan and a world traveler, who has visited all 193 U.N.-recognized countries.

Rounding out the crew was Marty Allen, an angel investor and turnaround CEO.

The New Shepard system consists of a rocket and a capsule, both of which are reusable. From launch to landing, each flight lasts approximately 11 minutes, with passengers experiencing weightlessness for roughly three minutes.

Shortly after liftoff, the crew capsule separates from the rocket and descends independently under parachutes, touching down a few minutes after the booster.

Each New Shepard flight transports its customers and guests above the 62-mile Kármán line, a point in the atmosphere that's generally seen as the boundary of space by international authorities.

However, where outer space actually begins is still a topic of some debate and a source of contention among the two companies. In fact, Blue Origin's chief competitor, Virgin Galactic, flies just shy of the Kármán line, with Blue Origin CEO, Jeff Bezos, often pointing that out.

The crew capsule reached an official apogee of 347,629 feet, separating from its booster right on time before touching down at 9:07 a.m. CDT.

Once back on Earth, the passengers described the flight as an incredible out-of-body experience. "It was intense," Lai said. "I did feel a bit nauseous for sure."

"I can't put it into words," Allen added. "It was unreal."

Kitchen said the flight was breathtaking, and the views of space were some of the blackest black he's ever seen.

"Pictures don't do it justice," Nield said.

The NS-20 mission was just the fourth to carry a crew, as most of previous flights were uncrewed tests or payload research flights.

New Shepard, named for Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to reach space, carried its first crew of passengers on July 20, 2021 -- the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing -- transporting Bezos himself; his brother Mark Bezos; Wally Funk, an 82-year old aviation pioneer; and Oliver Daemen, the company's first paying customer.

Blue Origin flew two additional crewed missions in 2021, including "Star Trek" captain William Shatner.

To date, the company has launched 22 people on a high-powered rocket ride to the edge of space and back. Company officials said that Blue Origin plans to ramp up its launch schedule, sending three times the passengers to space in the coming years.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

US comic Pete Davidson not going to space after all
Washington (AFP) March 18, 2022
Plot twist: American comedian and actor Pete Davidson isn't going to space next week after all. The 28-year-old star of Saturday Night Live, who has been in the news recently because of his relationship with Kim Kardashian, is "no longer able to join the NS-20 crew on this mission," Blue Origin said in an announcement late Thursday. The space company owned by Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos did not elaborate on reasons for Davidson's withdrawal from the trip, which had been planned for March 23 - an ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Blue Origin launches 4th crew to space

Sierra Space to revolutionize space exploration with Siemens' Xcelerator

Roscosmos to Brief Russian Government on Options for Ending ISS Cooperation Soon, Rogozin Says

Russian space agency suspends ISS cooperation over sanctions

Axiom-1 targets Friday for ISS launch after NASA delays moon rocket test

Rocket Lab launches 112th satellite to orbit

Successful launch shows new rocket factory's solid steps

NASA's next moon rocket set for wet dress rehearsal ahead of launch

Making Tracks to the Delta

NASA's Perseverance rover listens in the thin Martian atmosphere

Magma makes marsquakes rock Red Planet

First audio recorded on Mars reveals two speeds of sound

Tianzhou 2 re-enters Earth's atmosphere, mostly burns up

Shenzhou XIII astronauts prep for return

China's Tianzhou-2 cargo craft leaves space station core module

China's space station to support large-scale scientific research

Blue Canyon Technologies to supply spacecraft buses for HelioSwarm Mission

Kleos launches Patrol Mission satellites

Terran Orbital begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange

HawkEye 360 launches next-generation Cluster 4 satellites

Lockheed Martin releases open-source interface standard for on-orbit docking

Space debris found in rural India likely from 'China rocket'

Artificial modification of Earth's radiation belts by ground-based VLF transmitters

ATLANT 3D Nanosystems developing a space-certified Nanofabricator 0G

Prenatal protoplanet upends planet formation models

Kepler telescope delivers new planetary discovery from the grave

Hubble finds a planet forming in an unconventional way

Miniaturized laser systems to seek out traces of life in space

Juice's journey and Jupiter system tour

Pluto's giant ice volcanos may have formed from multiple eruption events

Chaos terrains on Europa could be shuttling oxygen to ocean

Searching for Planet Nine

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.