A crew of six, including Pete Davidson of Saturday Night Live, will attempt to venture past the Kármán line on March 23 aboard a Blue Origin rocket.
The comedian and actor will travel to space with Marty Allen, Sharon and Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen, and George Nield. Designated NS-20, the Blue Origin mission will be the fourth human flight for the Jeff Bezos-led company. The crew is set to launch from Launch Site One in west Texas on March 24 at 12:30 a.m. AEDT.
NS-20 will be the first flight of a Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital spacecraft since December 9, 2021. Blue Origin sent Star Trek’s William Shatner to space on October 13, 2021, and Bezos himself made the trek on July 20, 2021. Like Shatner, Davidson “is an honorary guest,” a Blue Origin spokesperson told me in an email. “Everyone else is a paying customer,” they said, adding that Blue Origin is “not sharing details about pricing.”
Indeed, Blue Origin has been tight-lipped about the cost per seat, but as a comparison, tickets for Virgin Galactic flights are a reported $US450,000 ($624,690) a pop.
The NS-20 mission will see Davidson and the other passengers travel to beyond the Kármán line, the internationally recognised edge of space, 62 miles (100 kilometers) above sea level. The whole thing lasts for slightly longer than 10 minutes, and passengers will be able to float in microgravity for a few minutes before having to scramble back to their seats for the reentry and parachute-assisted landing.
Davidson, a cast member of Saturday Night Live, starred in the 2020 semi-autobiographical film The King of Staten Island and is currently dating Kim Kardashian. Marty Allen is a turnaround CEO and angel investor, Sharon Hagle is the founder of SpaceKids Global, and her husband, Marc Hagle, is the president and CEO of Tricor International. Jim Kitchen is a teacher and entrepreneur, and George Nield is the president of Commercial Space Technologies.
Fingers crossed that the mission goes well, and that Davidson — unlike Bezos — won’t be equipped with a spacesuit that doesn’t fit his crotch.