Jeff Bezos to blast TV star and others into space

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Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin will launch TV star Michael Strahan and several other paying customers into the space, it has announced.

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The launch, scheduled for next month, will launch anchor Good Morning America with Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space. They will be “honorary guests” on the trip, and so they will not pay the high prices that Mr. Bezos’s company charges for trips to the shores of the atmosphere.

The pair will be joined by four paying customers: three businessmen, as well as one of their children. As such, the mission will be the first time Blue Origin’s flight on a New Shepard rocket will include the full six people it can carry, Blue Origin said.


The flight will be the 19th trip to New Shepard. As is the case with Blue Origin’s other private launches – including those that carried Mr Bezos himself and most recently William Shatner – passengers will be taken to the edge of space, briefly hovering there will go up, and then fall back down after a short trip.

The launch is scheduled for December 9. Blue Origin will offer a livestream of the launch from West Texas.

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Blue Origin claims that short trips into space help further “the company’s vision of the millions of people living and working in space for the benefit of the Earth.” Mr Bezos has said he sees millions of people “living and working in space for the benefit of the Earth” in the future, and that private trips help fund that work.

But the company’s efforts to engage in space exploration work have largely failed. Rival billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX has sent people farther and longer into space, and will be involved in getting humans back to the Moon on NASA’s behalf – leading to several legal challenges from Mr. Bezos and Blue Origin.


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