Blue Origin performs the first space tourism launch of 2022 and sends six tourists on a jaunt off Earth

Space tourism is back!!!

Blue Origin on Thursday launched six tourists for its first space mission in 2022. Of the six, five had paid an undisclosed amount, estimated in the millions of dollars, to reserve a seat on the New Shepard spacecraft to exit Earth.

The spacecraft took them on a brief jaunt outside the planet, giving them moments of weightlessness and weightlessness as the spacecraft soared 100 kilometers above the planet’s surface. The passengers unbuckled and floated in zero gravity for a few moments as the spacecraft touched the Karaman Line, which is designated as the boundary of space.

The New Shepard spacecraft lifted off from Launch Site 1 in West Texas and lasted just over 10 minutes, with the capsule making a parachute landing in the desert.

The six space tourists who participated in the New Shepard-20 mission with Blue Origin. (Photo: Blue Origin)

During Thursday’s flight, the spacecraft reached a top speed of Mach 3, three times the speed of sound. Three minutes into the flight, New Shepard separated from the booster, and the passengers began to feel weightlessness and weightlessness, as they detached themselves from their seats. At four minutes, New Shepard crossed the Karman Line, entering space, while the boosters began their journey back to Earth.

Six minutes into the flight, the crew buckled into their seats as the spacecraft began the descent. The first parachute was deployed at nine minutes, slowing the capsule to a speed of 26 kilometers per hour before landing safely in the desert at a speed of 1.6 kilometers per hour.

Thursday’s launch was the New Shepard spacecraft’s fourth crewed mission and the 20th in its two decades of development, testing and demonstration.

Graphic: India Today/Pradeep Singh Saini

Angel investor Marty Allen, real estate veteran Marc Hagle and his wife Sharon Hagle, entrepreneur and University of North Carolina professor Jim Kitchen, and George Nield, founding president of Commercial Space Technologies were on hand. trip with guest passenger Garry Lai.

Jim Kitchen, a professor at the University of North Carolina who has traveled to 193 countries around the world, took 10 passports into space, including one bearing Ukrainian stamps. He also carried the Ukrainian flag into space to support the Ukrainian people, who are fighting a Russian invasion.

Gary Lai was inducted into the mission after American comedian Pete Davidson pulled out of the flight, delaying the mission for a week. The launch was originally scheduled for March 23.

Lai is best known as the architect of the New Shepard system, notably leading the team responsible for the design and development of many key security systems on the Crew Capsule. According to Blue Origin, Lai is currently Principal Director and Chief Architect of New Shepard, responsible for all designs, upgrades and development of new next-gen products.

The capsule lands in the desert assisted by parachutes. (Photo: Blue Origin)

Lai was a guest passenger on the flight, as was William Shatner, best known for his on-screen portrayal of Captain Kirk, who was a guest on the crew’s second mission last year. On New Shepard’s third crewed flight, morning TV host Michael Strahan and astronaut Allan Shepard’s daughter were guests.

Blue Origin had launched 14 humans into space in 2021 on three flights, and the company hopes to conduct at least nine missions in 2022. Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark had made the first crewed flight to show the reliability and safety of the ship space his company had built after nearly two decades of development.

Comments are closed.