Home Pay off Michael Strahan and Alan Shepard’s daughter bursts into space

Michael Strahan and Alan Shepard’s daughter bursts into space


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.”

Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, whose father Alan Shepard performed a suborbital flight in 1961 and then walked on the moon, rode alongside investors Dylan Taylor, Evan Dick and Lane Bess, as well as Bess’s adult child. , Cameron Bess – all paying clients. Blue Origin said Strahan and Shepard Churchley were “guests of honor,” much like the last Blue Origin celebrity sent to space edge, William Shatner, and that they didn’t have to pay their fare.

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.

There is a long history of unsuccessful attempts to send American journalists into space.  Now Michael Strahan is going
Strahan announced his intention to join the flight during a segment on Hello america last month, noting that Blue Origin had him measured his flight suit and had him test one of the seats in the New Shepard capsule to make sure it would 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 Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Become suborbital

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.

Orbital rockets need to generate enough power to reach at least 17,000 miles per hour, or what’s known as orbital speed, essentially giving a spacecraft enough energy to keep spinning around Earth instead. than being immediately dragged down by gravity.

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.

New Shepard’s suborbital flights reach about three times the speed of sound – about 2,300 miles per hour – and fly straight upward until the rocket uses up most of its fuel. The crew capsule then separates from the rocket at the top of the flight path and continues upward briefly before the capsule hovers almost to the top of its flight path, giving passengers a few minutes of weightlessness.

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.

The winner of that auction has agreed to shell out over $ 28 million for the seat, but the still anonymous person has chosen not to shop around for now. Oliver Daemen, then an 18-year-old whose father was a finalist in the ticket auction, stepped in instead.
Jeff Bezos rocket company Blue Origin to send Michael Strahan to the edge of space

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.

But Taylor, chairman and CEO of space investment firm Voyager, has pledged to donate an equivalent amount to charity – including donations to organizations that promote access to space. for people with disabilities and offer scholarships to women and people of color in the aerospace industry. .

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. “

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