If the weather remains favorable and no technical issues stop it, the New Shepard vehicle carrying six people will be lifting off today at 9:45AM Eastern time. It’s Blue Origin’s third ever crewed mission and the first time that a flight will be at full capacity with six passengers onboard. One of those passengers is Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of Alan Shepard who’s known for being the first American to go to space. She’ll be making the trip with Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan as guests of the Jeff Bezos-owned aerospace company.
The trip’s paying passengers are technology-focused venture fund founder Lane Bess and his child Cameron Bass aka MeepsKitten on Twitch, Voyager Space CEO Dylan Taylor and engineer/Starfighters Aerospace volunteer pilot Evan Dick. Blue Origin NS-19 was supposed to make the trip to suborbital space on December 9th, but it was pushed back due strong winds.
The company launched its first crewed spaceflight in July, carrying Jeff Bezos and his brother above the Kármán line. In October it flew William Shatner into space for its second crewed flight. Mission NS-19 isn’t only the third crewed Blue Origin flight this year, it’s also one of the many across space agencies and private space companies, including SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. As Jennifer Levasseur, a curator at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, told The Washington Post, it’s “the busiest year in human spaceflight.” She added: “We’re entering a new phase of activity that we’ve never, frankly, seen before. And it creates a lot of excitement.”
You can watch the launch and the preparations before it below when broadcast begins at 8:15AM ET.
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