Blue Origin Successfully Completes Latest Space Tourism Mission

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket has successfully completed its sixth space tourism mission, sending six more crew members on a sub-orbital spaceflight.

According to Blue Origin’s official stats, the NS-22 mission lifted off on August 4 at 8:56 am (CDT) / 13:56 (UTC) from Launch Site One in West Texas. The capsule was carrying six space tourists, including the first Egyptian and Portuguese citizens to embark on a sub-orbital spaceflight. They completed the mission after 10 minutes and 20 seconds, touching back down around 9:06 am (CDT) / 14:56 (UTC).

During the sub-orbital spaceflight, the capsule separated from the New Shepard Propulsion Module and those on board unbuckled their seatbelts to experience the zero-gravity environment for a few minutes before returning to their respective seats for the descent, per NASA SpaceFlight. New Shepard’s booster made a loud landing while the crew capsule safely its parachutes and floated down.

The NS-22 mission was the 22nd flight for the New Shepard suborbital launch system, and its sixth crewed mission to reach space so far. It was also the third crewed launch of the year for New Shepard, coming exactly two months after Blue Origin recorded another successful mission that transported six more passengers past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.

Image credit: Blue Origin (LR: Sara Sabry, Steve Young, Coby Cotton, Vanessa O’Brien, Clint Kelly III, and Mário Ferreira)

The NS-22 crew consisted of Coby Cotton, co-founder of the YouTube channel Dude Perfect, Mário Ferreira, president of Pluris Investments Group, Vanessa O’Brien, a British-American mountaineer, Clint Kelly III, founder of the Autonomous Land Vehicle project, Sara Sabry, founder of the Deep Space Initiative, and Steve Young, former CEO of Young’s Communications LLC.

Blue Origin notes that this group of astronauts achieved three historic firsts, with Sabry becoming the first person from Egypt to fly to space, Ferreira becoming the first person from Portugal to make the trip, and O’Brien achieving a Guinness World Record by becoming the first woman to reachs on land (Mt. Everest), sea (Challenger Deep), and air (Kármán line), extreme the Explorers’ Extreme Trifecta.

“It’s an honor for our team to provide our customers with a life-changing shift in perspective of our fragile planet,” said Phil Joyce, SVP, New Shepard. “It’s been just over a year since New Shepard’s first human flight, and we have now flown 31 humans above the Kármán line. Thank you to these early pioneers in helping us realize our vision of millions of people living and working in space for the benefit of Earth.”

Space Tourism Guide: All You Need to Know About Booking a Galactic Getaway

Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX are three companies that have been at the forefront of the race to space, having made several headlines for their various crewed spaceflights. However, more and more companies are now gearing up to offer suborbital jaunts to space… or at least to the very edge of it. As such, we’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know about booking a galactic getaway.

Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

Cover image credit: Blue Origin via NASA.

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