NS-25: Blue Origin’s historic launch, six space enthusiasts aboard

After taking a break for almost two years, Blue Origin is all set to jump back into the space tourism game with its upcoming NS-25 mission. Today’s launch is a big deal for Jeff Bezos’s space venture because it’s the first time they’re sending people up since a test flight didn’t go as planned back in 2022.

The NS-25 Mission

The NS-25 mission is scheduled to launch from Launch Site One in West Texas around 8:30 am CT or later on Sunday, May 19. What makes this mission stand out is that it will have six people on board the capsule, each with their own fascinating story and motivation for exploring the final frontier.

Meet the Passengers

The crew for this historic flight is as diverse as it is inspiring:

The NS-25 mission will carry a six-person crew, including (from left) Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Ed Dwight, Gopi Thotakura, Mason Angel and Carol Schaller. 
The NS-25 mission will carry a six-person crew, including (from left) Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Ed Dwight, Gopi Thotakura, Mason Angel and Carol Schaller. 
Credit: Blue Origin
  • Mason Angel: A venture capitalist with an eye on the stars, Mason is no stranger to high stakes and high altitudes.
  • Sylvain Chiron: The founder of the French craft brewery Brasserie Mont-Blanc, Sylvain is set to take his entrepreneurial spirit to new heights.
  • Kenneth L. Hess: A software engineer and entrepreneur, Kenneth’s journey represents the pinnacle of a lifelong passion for technology and exploration.
  • Carol Schaller: A retired accountant whose meticulous nature and love for numbers will now tally the stars.
  • Gopi Thotakura: An aviator and entrepreneur, Gopi will become India’s first space tourist, adding a celestial chapter to his aviation career.
  • Ed Dwight: A retired US Air Force captain and the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Although he didn’t join NASA’s Astronaut Corps, Ed became an entrepreneur and a sculptor. At 90, he is set to become the oldest person to venture to such heights, completing a journey more than 60 years in the making.

The Journey

The New Shepard rocket and capsule are crafted to provide an unmatched experience. Passengers will soar toward space at over three times the speed of sound, crossing the Kármán line—the globally acknowledged border of space—then relish a few moments of weightlessness and awe-inspiring vistas of Earth.

Safety and Sustainability

Blue Origin keeps safety as its utmost priority. The New Shepard vehicle has gone through extensive testing to guarantee the safety of its passengers. Additionally, almost 99% of New Shepard’s dry mass is reusable, highlighting Blue Origin’s dedication to sustainability.

A New Era of Space Tourism

The NS-25 mission isn’t just a ride for the six folks on board; it’s a giant step for private space travel. As Blue Origin welcomes back tourists to the cosmic playground, we’re on the brink of a fresh era where space isn’t just for astronauts, but for anyone with the courage to dream.

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