Sonic BOOM as Bezos’ Blue Origin fires five tourists into space on New Shephard rocket

William Shatner gets emotional after Blue Origin landing

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The mission, NS-20, is the 20th spaceflight of the rocket. The space tourists include businessman Marty Allen, philanthropic couple Sharon Hagle and Marc Hagle, teacher and entrepreneur Jim Kitchen, and George Nield, They will be joined by longtime Blue Origin employee Gary Lai, the chief architect of the New Shepard vehicle.

He took the seat of “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson, who backed out after NS-20’s launch date was delayed from March 23.

The original date was pushed back after high winds were reported at Launch Site One in West Texas.

New Shephard consists of a rocket and a capsule, both of which are reusable.

The passengers on board have been blasted into sub-orbit, where they will experience three to four minutes of weightlessness.

The whole experience will last about 11 minutes from liftoff to the capsule’s parachute-aided touchdown.

It comes after two high profile launches saw Star Trek” star William Shatner launch in October, and NFL Hall of Famer and “Good Morning America” co-host Michael Strahan in December.

Bezos, the billionaire founder of online retail giant Amazon, tagged along himself on Blue Origin’s inaugural crewed flight to the edge of space last July.

He accompanied his brother, Mark Bezos, trailblazing octogenarian female aviator Wally Funk and an 18-year-old Dutch high school graduate.

Speaking ahead of the launch, one of the passengers – Mr Allen – said: “I’ve loved aviation from the time I was a kid.

“I used to build rockets and play with them as a kid. I always dreamed about space.”

Mr Allen added that each passenger was given a small bag to take aboard.

He also took a small American flag with him.

Mr Allan added: “I’m going to take it up with me, and when I come back home, I’m going to erect a really big flagpole on my property and fly that flag,”

Meanwhile, Mr Kitchen will take a small Ukrainian flag to space on New Shepard’s launch

He added: “One of my earliest childhood memories was sitting in my mom’s lap at the beach in Florida and watching an Apollo mission launch, just looking up and seeing that rocket go up to space,” Kitchen said in an interview with a UNC business school publication.

“Given everything that’s going on right now in the world, seeing this borderless planet from space is really important to me.”

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