Blue Origin has announced its next human spaceflight: a six-person launch set for December 9. This is the first time that Blue Origin is flying a full complement of six passengers on its New Shepard reusable rocket and capsule, and the group going on this trip includes Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan; rocket namesake Alan Shepard’s daughter Laura Shepard Churchley; Voyager Space CEO Dylan Taylor; Dick Holdings managing member Evan Dick; and father and child pair Lane Bess and Cameron Bess.
In keeping with Blue Origin’s penchant for notching historic firsts with its human spaceflight missions, this will be the first time a parent and child make the trip to space together. Lane Bess, the principal and founder of Bess Ventures, will be accompanied by Cameron Bess, a content creator and software developer.
This will be Blue Origin’s third human spaceflight, and also the third this year. New Shepard previously flew two crews of four people each, first with a manifest that included Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and then just in October it sent up William Shatner, along with Blue Origin’s Audrey Powers, DCVC partner Chris Boshuizen and Medidata co-founder Glen de Vries, who tragically passed away in an airplane accident just weeks later.
The pace that Blue Origin is hitting with these launches is impressive, especially given the likely price tags for each ticket. With six-person flights, the company is likely improving its margins, which may lead to slightly more affordable seats for those going up, but it’s still bound to be an extreme luxury.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard flies its passengers to the edge of space, staying sub-orbital but providing them with a few minutes of weightlessness and unparalleled views of Earth, before the capsule returns slowed by parachutes to a landing in the West Texas desert.