The group detonated the Blue Origins suborbital space tourism rocket at 9:01 CT from the company’s launch facility near the rural town of Van Horn, Texas, where Bezos owns a vast ranch, and took a supersonic 10-minute flight that reached more than 60 miles above the earth’s surface before jumps in a parachute to a landing.
Strahan came radiantly out of the capsule where he was greeted by Bezos.
“I want to go back,” he said. “Gs … it’s not a facelift, it’s a facelift. I know what I’m going to look like when I’m 85.”
This flight marks the first time Blue Origin filled all six seats on the 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 the passengers had a little less wiggle room than previous customers, especially Strahan, which is six feet, five inches high.
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.
The flight followed a similar profile as Shatner’s flight and Bezos before him, and spent less time off the ground than it takes most people to get to work in the morning.
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 are short, up-and-down flights, though they travel more than 62 miles above the earth, which some scientists consider to mark the edge of space.
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.
The new Shepard capsule then deploys a large number of parachutes to slow the descent to less than 20 miles per hour before hitting the ground.
The big picture
This flight marked the third of what Blue Origin hopes will be many launches of space tourism, transporting 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.
Taylor, who rode 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.
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 would 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. “