Blue Origin Set to Launch Next All-Civilian Crew to Space on Thursday

The six-member crew, which includes a couple that will make history, will be part of the 20th New Shepard launch.

Blue Origin is set to launch its next crewed mission, NS-20, featuring an all-civilian passenger crew.

The launch, scheduled for Thursday morning, will mark the 20th spaceflight for the New Shepard missions. It was originally slated for Tuesday but was postponed due to forecasted high winds.

Jeff Bezos’ commercial space company has set many records throughout the New Shepard program, and it will do so again by sending the first husband-and-wife duo to space—Sharon and Marc Hagle.

The six-member crew that is scheduled to go to space Tuesday. [Courtesy: Blue Origin]

Marc Hagle serves as president and CEO of Tricor International, a residential and commercial property development corporation, which owns over 17.4 million square feet of property around the United States.

His wife, Sharon Hagle, is the founder of SpaceKids Global—a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring young girls to pursue STEAM+ education, reaching nearly 100,000 students globally.

Other crew members include Party America CEO Marty Allen, entrepreneur Jim Kitchen, and Commercial Space Technologies President George Nield.

Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson was originally set to ride onboard NS-20, but backed out for unspecified reasons. (Blue Origin has previously carried several celebrities into space, including Michael Strahand and William Shatner.) 

In place of Davidson, New Shepard chief architect Gary Lai will round out the six-person crew. Lai joined Blue Origin in 2004 as one of the company’s first 20 employees.

Ahead of the launch, the company revealed the design for the NS-20 patch on Twitter.

The crew will take their ride to space onboard the New Shepard rocket system, powered by the Blue Engine 3 (BE-3). The self-landing booster is capable of slowing down to 5 mph right before touchdown.

According to Blue Origin, 99 percent of New Shepard’s dry mass is reused. As for wet mass, the BE-3 is fueled by liquid oxygen and hydrogen, expelling water vapor during flight with no carbon emissions.

The crew capsule can seat up to six passengers and features the largest windows to have flown to space.

Live coverage of the launch on Blue Origin’s website will begin around 8:20 a.m. ET ahead of liftoff from Launch Site One in West Texas.

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