Blue Origin

New Shepard’s 25th Launch Carries Six to the Edge of Space and Back

Sending tourists to space is still relatively novel in the grand scheme of humanity’s journey to the stars. Dennis Tito took the first-ever paid trip in 2001, but since then, plenty of others have journeyed to the heavens. Increasingly, they’ve done so via systems developed by private companies. On Sunday, May 19th, Blue Origin, originally founded by Jeff Bezos to pursue his dreams of humanity’s future in space, successfully launched its seventh crewed mission – this time containing six first-time astronauts, including one that waited a long time for his day in space.

The astronauts’ professions and ages varied widely—from a twenty-something male venture capitalist to a retired female CPA, they came from different walks of life and various stages of life. One owns a brewery in France, while another is a trained stunt pilot. Most impressively, this was the opportunity for Ed Dwight to go into space.

He’s a former Air Force Captain who was the first black person ever to be selected for the Aerospace Research Pilot School, which he reached after being a test pilot in the Air Force for eight years. After making it through the first cut, Captain Dwight wasn’t selected to join NASA’s astronaut program, and many modern-day observers think that was simply down to the racism prevalent in the country back then.

Blue Origin promotional video for the NS-25 mission.
Credit – Blue Origin YouTube Channel

After leaving the military, he went on to have a successful life as an entrepreneur and became a well-regarded sculptor. Many of his themes focused on black culture, and he has over 100 pieces on show. He was also eventually made an honorary member of the US Space Force back in 2020.

Most importantly, he had never made it to space until now. Did we mention he’s also 90 years old and now, officially, the oldest person to have ever been sent to space? He and his fellow travelers—Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Carol Schaller, Kenneth Hess, and Thotakura Gopichand—spent 10 minutes in space. If you’re interested in watching the process, there’s a YouTube video that tracks the whole mission—the launch takes place near 1:22 into the video.

Blue Origin video tracking the successful NS-25 mission – the company’s seventh crewed flight.
Credit – Blue Origin YouTube Channel

Congratulations to Blue Origin and the Shepard rocket team on another successful mission. This surely won’t be their last.

Learn More:
Blue Origin – Blue Origin Completes 25th Mission to Space with Six Crew Onboard
UT – Blue Origin’s New Shepard Completes 24th Flight; New Glenn Hopefully on the Horizon
UT – Finally! Blue Origin’s New Glenn Goes Vertical on the Launch Pad
UT – Blue Origin Reveals its Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle: Blue Ring

Lead Image:
A New Shepard launching.
Credit – Blue Origin

Andy Tomaswick

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