Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin is set to conduct the first tourist launch of 2022 for the New Shepard program, which will include Saturday Night Live fame Pete Davidson. After completing three private flights to space, Blue Origin is set to conduct its fourth human flight, the company announced on March 14, 2022.
The company will launch Pete Davidson and five others on a brief suborbital flight to space on March 23 on its New Shepard spacecraft. The fourth crewed flight for New Shepard will be the 20th in its development history as it launches from Launch Site One in West Texas at 8:30 am CDT.
Blue Origin flights give passengers a few minutes of weightlessness above the Earth’s surface before the capsule parachutes and lands in the West Texas desert. The company has not disclosed the ticket price for paying customers.
Besides Davidson, the crew flying includes angel investor Marty Allen, nonprofit founder Sharon and her husband Tricor CEO Marc Hagle, entrepreneur Jim Kitchen, and Dr. Commercial Space Technologies founder George Nield.
Davidson is Blue Origin’s second-star passenger after Star Trek fame William Shatner took a trip with the commercial space company last year.
The typical 11-minute flight will carry the crew members far above the Karman line – an internationally recognized boundary of space that lies 62 miles (100 km) above the Earth’s surface.
The company stated that each astronaut onboard NS-20 would carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation Club for the Future, whose Postcards to Space program gives students access to space on its rockets.
The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM for the benefit of Earth. Blue Origin’s third flight to suborbital space took place in December 2021. It was the first to carry six astronauts to space, as the last two missions had only four.
The company blasted off its first human flight on July 20, while the second space flight occurred on October 13, last year.