The group took off aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital space tourism rocket at 9:01 a.m. CT from the company’s launch facilities near the rural town of Van Horn, Texas, where Bezos has a large ranch, and has performed a 10-minute supersonic flight that reached over 60 miles above the Earth’s surface before parachuting to land.
Strahan beamed out of the capsule where he was greeted by Bezos.
“I want to go back,” he said. “The Gs … it’s not a facelift, it’s a lowered face. I know what I’m going to look like at 85.”
This flight marks the first time that Blue Origin has occupied the six seats of its New Shepard rocket and capsule, which is named after Alan Shepard. On the company’s two previous flights, including the July flight that sent Bezos himself into space, only four of the seats have been occupied.
That means passengers had a little less leeway than previous customers, especially Strahan, who is six-foot-five.
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 Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
The flight followed a similar pattern to Shatner and Bezos before it, spending 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 flights. Blue Origin’s New Shepard flights are brief trips up and down, although they cover more than 100 km above Earth, which some scientists consider to be the limit of outer space.
Suborbital flights require much less power and speed. This means less time it takes the rocket to burn, lower temperatures scorching the exterior of the spacecraft, less force and compression tearing the spacecraft, and generally less chance of something going wrong.
The New Shepard capsule then deploys a large plume of parachutes to slow its descent to less than 20 miles per hour before touching the ground.
The big picture
This flight marked the third of what Blue Origin hopes will be many space tourism launches, transporting wealthy customers to the edge of space. This could be a line of business that helps fund other more ambitious Blue Origin space projects, including the development of a 300-foot-tall rocket powerful enough to send satellites into orbit and a lander. lunar.
It’s unclear how much money the paying customers on Saturday’s flight spent for their seats. Blue Origin has not publicly identified the ticket price, although the company held an auction earlier this year to sell an additional seat alongside Bezos on its July flight.
Taylor, who rode alongside Strahan and Shepard on today’s flight, told CNN Business he also entered the auction but did not win. However, Blue Origin reached out to offer him a seat. He declined to say how much he ultimately paid for his ticket, noting that Blue Origin is asking its passengers to sign nondisclosure agreements that prevent customers from talking about certain aspects of the launch.
Taylor wants other wealthy people who buy space flights to do something similar, taking after billionaire Shift4 CEO Jared Isaacman’s decision to take his three-day space trip aboard a rocket SpaceX in a charitable fundraiser for St. Jude to which Isaacman donated $ 200 million.
This is the model Taylor hopes everyone will follow. He said he would encourage fellow paying customers on Saturday’s Blue Origin flight to do the same.
“I’m assuming $ 300 million or $ 400 million will be spent on commercial space flights over the next few years,” Taylor said. “And people who can afford those tickets can afford double the ticket, can they? I mean, it’s not like they’re putting their last dollar in to buy a ticket for space. So that’s kind of why I want to make the call to action. “