After successfully sending its founder Jeff Bezos and his brother into space for a brief moment in July, Blue Origin is giving New Shepard another run. This time a former NASA engineer and a medtech founder will take two of the four cabin slots.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket took off from West Texas on July 21 and the capsule landed in West Texas 10 minutes and 18 seconds after lift-off. It was the ship’s first human flight.
The crew included Bezos, his brother Mark, Wally Funk (who was the youngest graduate of NASA’s Woman in Space Program in 1961) and Oliver Daemen. Daemen paid a cool $US28 million (about $38 million) for a seat.
This time, taking up two of the four available seats will be Dr Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of satellite company Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, vice-chair of Dassault Systèmes’ Life Sciences & Healthcare arm and co-founder of medical firm Medidata.
I have huge news! I am going to space with @blueorigin! This has been a dream of mine my entire life and I am so excited to finally make it happen as part of the next New Shepard crew. It still really hasn’t sunk it yet! I’M GOING TO SPACE!!!!!! https://t.co/KSFChLssor
— Chris Boshuizen (@cboshuizen) September 27, 2021
I’ve been passionate about aviation and #space for as long as I can remember, and a long-awaited dream of mine is about to become a reality: I’m boarding the #NewShepard’s second human flight, Oct. 12: https://t.co/EkqFn1jNky pic.twitter.com/efyXkATm3v
— Glen de Vries (@CaptainClinical) September 27, 2021
The two other astronauts joining the entrepreneurs onboard New Shepard will be announced in the coming days.
“This is a fulfilment of my greatest childhood dream,” Dr Boshuizen said. “More importantly, though, I see this flight as an opportunity to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM and catalyse the next generation of space explorers. After all, our future of life in space is in their very capable hands.”
New Shepard’s 18th mission, NS-18, will lift off on Tuesday, October 12 at 6:30am PT (just after midnight on Wednesday for those of you on Australia’s east coast). Stay tuned for updates on how to watch its launch.