Blue Origin has announced its second manned commercial spaceflight. It will take place on October 12 and the first two passengers have been announced. Blue Origin conducted its first tourist flight in July, with founder Jeff Bezos on board.
From second commercial passenger flight of Blue Origin is seen as the start of the company’s space tourism program. The first flight was successfully completed in July and although the seats on board were for sale, only one paying passenger was eventually carried. Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos decided to fill the remaining three seats with himself, his brother and aviation legend Wally Funk.
On October 12 at 3:30 PM Dutch time, the eighteenth New Shepard mission planned. That is the second crewed mission of Blue Origin and the first two paying crew members were announced on Monday. It concerns Australian Chris Boshuizen and American Glen de Vries. Boshuizen worked for years as a researcher at NASA and is co-founder of Planet Labs. De Vries is co-founder of software company Medidata.
It has not been disclosed what the two will pay for the flight. Space tourists can apply to Blue Origin via email for a flight on the New Shepard rocket, but prices are not public. The other passengers of the second crewed flight will be announced in the coming days, Blue Origin writes.
The person who made the highest bid to join the first flight still owes his space trip. The bidder did not agree with the planning of that first flight, so another bidder was able to come along. That was the 18-year-old Dutchman Oliver Daemen; his father was one of bidders. After the successful first flight, Blue Origin said that two more flights were expected this year and that ‘many more’ will follow in the future. The company says it already has many interested customers.
Ruimtetoerisme via Blue Origin, SpaceX en Virgin Galactic
This year, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin Galactic all started their space tourism program. Virgin Galactic conducted its first crewed test flight in July and the founder also boarded it. According to the company’s website, tickets are still available for this year, but a next flight has not yet been scheduled. The program is currently on hold because the US Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the first flight. It would have deviated from the designated flight space and the company would not have passed this on to the FAA.
SpaceX successfully completed its first mission with four space tourists on September 19. The four passengers spent four days in a Crew Dragon capsule and reached an altitude of 560 kilometers. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin operate short flights, where passengers reach the Kármán Line for a few minutes, at an altitude of about 100 kilometers. Tweakers wrote a background article about the new rise of space tourism.