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Blue Origin completes third crewed space flight

NS-19 astronaut Laura Shepard-Churchley during capsule egress training. Image: Blue Origin

Edinburgh, 13 December 2021. – Blue Origin conducted its third space flight on Saturday, after high winds forced a delay on the Thursday launch. The roughly 11-minute trip on the reusable, automated capsule carried four paying customers and two guests just beyond the Kármán line.

The four paying customers were space industry executive and philanthropist Dylan Taylor, investor Evan Dick, Bess Ventures founder Lane Bess, travelling with his offspring, Cameron Bess.

Laura Shepard-Churchley, daughter of the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard flew as a guest. Shepard travelled to space in 1961 for a 15-minute suborbital flight just after the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin. Shepard also went on to be the fifth man to go to the Moon. Blue Origin’s rocket, New Shepard, is named after him. The other guest on aboard was former NFL player and current “Good Morning America” co-host, Michael Strahan.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that there would be no more commercial astronaut wings awarded after this year. The FAA reasoned that there were too many people launching into space. 

Future space tourists can have their names put on an FAA commercial spaceflight list. The conditions are that they have to reach a minimum height of 80 km on an FAA-sanctioned launch.

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