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Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, sends Michael Strahan to the edge of space




Departure is scheduled for kl. 08.45 CT on December 11 from the Blue Origin launch site near the rural town of Van Horn, Texas, where Bezos owns a vast ranch. A livestream of the mission will be on the company’s YouTube channel, and CNN will share the feed on our live blog for the launch.
Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, whose father Alan Shepard went on a suborbital flight in 1961 and later went to the moon, will be joined by investors Dylan Taylor, Evan Dick and Lane Bess, as well as Bess’ adult children, Cameron Bess. Blue Origin said that Strahan and Shepard Churchley will be “guests of honor”[ads1];, much like the last celebrity Blue Origin sent to the edge of space, William Shatner, and has not paid for their tickets.

This flight will mark the first time Blue Origin will fill all six seats on its New Shepard rocket and capsule, named after Alan Shepard. On the company’s two previous flights – including the July flight that sent Bezos itself into space – only four of the seats were taken.

This means that passengers will have a little less leeway than previous customers, especially Strahan, which is six feet, five inches high.

Strahan announced his plans to join the flight during a segment on Good morning America last month, noticing that Blue Origin had him measured for the flight suit and had him test one of the seats for the New Shepard capsule to make sure he fit.

Strahan spent 15 seasons in the NFL, all with the New York Giants, where he won the Super Bowl with them in 2007. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Goes suborbital

The flight will follow a similar profile as Shatner’s flight and Bezos before him, spending only 10 minutes from the ground.

Suborbital flights are very different from orbital flights of the type most of us think of when we think of space travel. Blue Origins New Shepard flights will be short, up-and-down flights, although they will travel more than 62 miles above the earth, which is widely considered to be the edge of space.

Jeff Bezos is going to space on the first manned rocket
Orbital rockets need to drum up enough power to hit at least 17,000 miles per hour, or what is known as orbital speed, which essentially gives a spacecraft enough energy to continue whipping around the earth instead of being pulled down immediately by gravity.

Suborbital flights require far less power and speed. This means less time for the rocket to fire, lower temperatures burning outside the spacecraft, less force and compression tearing in the spacecraft, and generally fewer chances that something could go terribly wrong.

New Shepard’s suborbital flights hit about three times the speed of sound – about 2300 miles per hour – and fly directly upwards until the rocket uses most of the fuel. The crew capsule will then separate from the rocket at the top of the runway and briefly continue upwards before the capsule almost floats at the top of the runway, giving passengers a few minutes of weightlessness.
A graphic showing the flight profile of Blue Origin's New Shepard.

The new Shepard capsule will then deploy a large number of parachutes to slow down to less than 20 miles per hour before hitting the ground.

The big picture

This will mark the third of what Blue Origin hopes will be many launches of space tourism, which will transport wealthy customers to the edge of space. It could be an industry that helps fund Blue Origin’s other, more ambitious space projects, which include the development of a 300-foot-high rocket powerful enough to blow up satellites in orbit and a lunar lander.

It is not clear how much money the paying customers on Saturday’s plane paid for their seats. Blue Origin has not publicly identified a ticket price, although the company arranged an auction earlier this year to sell an extra seat with Bezos during his flight in July.

The winner of that auction agreed to give over $ 28 million for the seat, but the still anonymous person chose not to take the trip yet. Oliver Daemen, then an 18-year-old whose father was number two at the ticket auction, took his place.

Taylor, who will ride with Strahan and Shepard on today’s flight, told CNN Business that he also participated in the auction, but did not win. However, Blue Origin later reached out to offer him a seat. He declined to say how much he eventually paid for his ticket, noting that Blue Origin is asking its passengers to sign confidentiality agreements that exclude customers from talking about certain aspects of the launch.

But Taylor, chairman of the board and CEO of the space investment firm Voyager, promised to donate a similar amount to charity – including donations to organizations that promote access to space for the disabled and provide scholarships to women and people of color in the aerospace industry.

Taylor wants other wealthy individuals who buy flights to space to do something similar, after billionaire Shift4 boss Jared Isaacman decided to make his three-day space trip aboard a SpaceX rocket to a charity fundraiser for St. Jude as Isaacman donated $ 200 million more. .

This is the model Taylor hopes everyone will follow. He said he plans to encourage his other paying customers on Saturday’s Blue Origin flight to do the same.

“My guess is that there will be $ 300 or $ 400 million spent on commercial spaceflight over the next few years,” Taylor said. “And those who can afford these tickets can afford double the ticket, right? I mean, it’s not like they spend their last dollar to buy a room ticket. So that’s a bit why I want to make the call to action. “





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