NEW YORK, June 4. /TASS/. Blue Origin successfully conducted another suborbital flight of its New Shepard spacecraft with six tourists onboard. The launch was broadcast on the company’s website.
The launch from the spaceport near the city of Van Horn (Texas) took place at 08:26 local time (04:26 pm Moscow time). The spaceship rose to an altitude of about 100 km, at which passengers were in condition of weightlessness. Shortly before that, a stage of the launch vehicle separated from the ship, which landed in automatic mode at the cosmodrome. A few minutes later New Shepard also made a parachute landing. The flight lasted a total of just over 10 minutes.
Initially, the flight was scheduled on May 20, but two days before the launch, Blue Origin specialists identified problems in the operation of one of the backup systems and were forced to postpone the flight as a precaution.
This launch was the fifth New Shepard flight with tourists on board. The previous ones took place in July, October, December of last year, and also on March 31 of the current year. The company does not disclose how much the trip costs for a space tourist.
This time, the crew included investor Evan Dick, entrepreneurs and adventurers Hamish Harding, Jason Robinson and Victor Vescovo, former NASA employee Katia Echazarreta, and Brazilian engineer Victor Correa Hespanha. Dick had already flown this ship once, in December. A 26-year-old native of the Mexican city of Guadalajara, Echazarreta, an engineer by profession, became, "the first woman born in Mexico and the youngest American woman to have been in space," Blue Origin stresses.
Vescovo holds the world record for solo diving in the Mariana Trench: in May 2019, he descended to a depth of 10,928 meters. In July 2019, Harding, as part of an international crew, set a world record for the fastest flight around the Earth on a Gulfstream G650ER aircraft, crossing the North and South Poles - 46 hours 39 minutes. Last year, he and Vescovo dived in a two-man bathyscaphe to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
New Shepard's first flight with tourists took place on July 20, 2021. Billionaire Jeff Bezos, who owns Blue Origin, was among the passengers.