Blue Origin successfully launched its suborbital vehicle New Shepard NS-21 from Texas, USA at 1325 GMT on 4 June 2022. The crewed vehicle carried six people – actually participants rather than a crew – on its autonomous mission to suborbital space and back.
The paying participants included Katya Echazarreta, an engineer and the first Mexican-born woman to go to space, and Blue Origin’s first repeat customer Evan Dick, an investor who travelled on the NS-19 mission in last year. Pilot Hamish Harding, engineer Victor Correa Hespanha – also the second Brazilian to go to space – businessman Jaison Robinson, and the founder of a private equity company Victor Vescovo made up the rest of the team of space tourists.
The re-useable first stage of the New Shepard NS-21 returned the participants safely to Earth ten minutes after it launched, after the spacecraft had reached its peak altitude of around 107 km. The launch marked the fifth crewed suborbital flight by Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company.
Jonathan Freeman contributed to this story.