Blue Origin is gearing up for its first crewed launch of the year, and fourth crewed launch overall, as the company seeks to expand its budding space tourism business.
This time, the Jeff Bezos-headed company is sending up a crew of six, with the launch set to take place on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. CT (9:30 AM ET).
Like the company’s previous missions – notably the mission in which Bezos himself went to space – NS-20 is set to take place from Blue Origin’s vast launch facility outside Van Horn in West Texas. (Unsurprisingly for the region, the mission was delayed by two days due to high winds.) NS-20 is so named because it is the 20th flight for Blue’s reusable New Shepard launch system.
NS-20’s crew includes angel investor Marty Allen; nonprofit founder Sharon Hagle and her husband, Tricor CEO Marc Hagle; entrepreneur Jim Kitchen; and Commercial Space Technologies founder George Nield. “SNL” star Pete Davidson was also originally scheduled to launch on the manifest, but he dropped out and was replaced by New Shepard chief architect Gary Lai.
The launch livestream above is set to begin at around 7:20 a.m. CT (8:20 a.m. ET), with the launch scheduled to take place roughly one hour after.