Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin has announced that its sixth tourist spaceflight, NS-22, will lift off from the launch site next Thursday, Aug. 4. The launch window will open at 8:30 a.m. CDT / 13:30 UTC.
The crew flying on New Shepard’s 22nd flight (NS-22) mission includes Coby Cotton, cofounder of the Youtube channel Dude Perfect; Portuguese entrepreneur Mário Ferreira; British-American mountaineer Vanessa O’Brien; technology leader Clint Kelly III; Egyptian engineer Sara Sabry; and telecommunications executive Steve Young.
Crew members Mário Ferreira and Sara Sabry will become the first people from Portugal and Egypt, respectively, to reach space. According to Space.com, Vanessa O’Brien will be the first person ever to climb the world’s tallest mountain (Mt. Everest), reach the deepest point in the ocean (the Pacific’s Challenger Deep) and cross the boundary into outer space. Cotton’s and Sabry’s are being sponsored by MoonDAO and Space for Humanity, organizations that are interested in the possibility to have wider access to space.
Each astronaut will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose Postcards to Space program gives students access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets. The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) for the benefit of Earth.
Blue Origin has also unveiled the NS-22 mission patch. The design includes symbols such as the Pyramids of Egypt, representing Sara Sabry’s heritage and celebrating her achievement as the country’s first female astronaut; or the Mariana Trench, representing Vanessa O’Brien’s feat of reaching Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth.
The crew capsule is represented as a basketball, symbolizing Dude Perfect’s trick shots and Coby Cotton’s role in co-founding the company. In addition, the Magellan ship represents Mário Ferreira’s Portuguese heritage and his lifelong passion for adventure.
Another symbol that appears is the fish swimming underneath the Magellan boat, symbolizing Steve Young’s passion for fishing. Likewise, the stagecoach represents Clint Kelly III’s aspirations for humanity’s reach into the new frontier of space. The New Shepard booster and the West Texas mountains are also represented.
According to Space.com, Blue Origin’s New Shepard is a reusable rocket-capsule that offers a view of Earth against the blackness of space. Each New Shepard mission lasts about 11 minutes from liftoff to capsule touchdown.