The first three passenger flights of Blue Origin’s New Shepard have been long on symbolism. On the first one, Jeff Bezos invited Wally Funk, who in 1960 was one of 13 women who underwent the same medical checks as the Original Seven Mercury astronauts. NASA wasn’t accepting female pilots at the time, so Funk had to wait 51 years to reach space.
New Shepard’s second flight included starship Capt. James T. Kirk, or more precisely, the actor who played the “Star Trek” captain, William Shatner. The third flight had Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter of America’s first astronaut to fly to space, who launched aboard a vehicle named after her father, Alan.
The NS-19 mission marks the sixth flight of the year for the program
VAN HORN, Texas (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin today successfully completed the third human spaceflight – the first with six astronauts on board. The astronaut manifest included, Laura Shepard Churchley, Michael Strahan, Evan Dick, Dylan Taylor, Cameron Bess, and Lane Bess.
Launch Vehicle: Atlas 5 (United Launch Alliance) Payloads: STP-6 and several rideshares Launch Window: 4:04-6:04 a.m. EST (0904-1104 UTC) Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla. Webcast: www.nasa.gov
The U.S. Space Force mission will launch the STPSat-6 satellite and several secondary payloads. STPSat 6 hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload and the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3 for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant, Yozo Hirano, to the International Space Station on a 12-day mission.
Launch Vehicle: Electron (Rocket Lab) Payloads: BlackSky 14 & 15 Earth observation satellites Launch Time: 6:45 p.m. EST (2345 UTC) Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand Webcast: www.rocketlab.com
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 (SpaceX) Payload: Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Launch Window: 1:00-2:30 a.m. EST (0600-0730 UTC) Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida Webcast: www.nasa.gov
Launch Vehicle: New Shepard (Blue Origin) Payload: New Shepard Launch Time: TBA Launch Site: Corn Ranch, Texas Webcast: www.blueorigin.com
Laura Shepard Churchley will fly aboard a suborbital craft named in honor of her late father, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space 60 years ago and walked on the moon a decade later. She will be joined by: Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan; Voyager Space chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor; Lance Bess, principal and founder of Bess Ventures and Advisory; Lance’s son Cameron Bess; and Evan Dick, managing member of Dick Holdings. This will be the 19th launch of the New Shepard system.
New Shepard’s 19th mission will be the first to carry a full manifest of six astronauts to space.
KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin today announced the crew of its upcoming NS-19 flight on December 9 will include two honorary guests and four paying customers. Guests include Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of Alan Shepard, who was the first American to fly to space. The four customers include space industry executive and philanthropist Dylan Taylor, investor Evan Dick, Bess Ventures founder Lane Bess, and Cameron Bess. Lane and Cameron Bess will become the first parent-child pair to fly in space.