Blue Origin’s next set of space flyers includes a previous customer and the first Mexican-born woman to visit the final frontier.
The NS-21 mission will fly on Friday morning (May 20) from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas. If all goes according to plan, the company’s New Shepard vehicle will carry six people on a short journey into suborbital space.
As is typical of previous missions, most of the people on board are wealthy people who have paid for their seats. One notable exception is a participant in the nonprofit Space For Humanity’s sponsored citizen astronaut program, which flies individuals to space for free after an application process.
Blue Origin was founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who flew to space himself aboard New Shepard’s debut manned mission on July 20, 2021. NS-21 will be Blue Origin’s fifth manned mission and the 21st mission for New Shepard overall. , with or without crew.
Here’s some information about the six passengers flying on NS-21 this Friday.
Evan Dick previously flew to space aboard the December 11, 2021 NS-19 mission and will be the first person to be launched twice aboard a Blue Origin spacecraft. He is a managing member of Dick Holdings, LLC, and was previously senior vice president of DE Shaw and managing director of Highbridge Capital Management. He calls himself a pilot, engineer and investor. His charitable work includes contributions to the Darwin Foundation, Population Relief International Corp. and Starfighters Aerospace, either through charity or on a volunteer basis, according to Blue Origin’s NS-21 mission announcement.
Katya Echazarreta’s chair was sponsored by the non-profit Space for Humanity. She was born in Guadalajara and will become the first Mexican-born person to visit space. Echazarreta is the co-host of the YouTube series “Netflix IRL” and “Electric Kat” on the CBS show “Mission Unstoppable”. Before that, she worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on space missions including the Perseverance Mars rover and Europa Clipper. Echazarreta is excited to represent women and minorities interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to Blue Origin.
Hamish Harding is a business jet pilot and chairman of the business jet brokerage firm Action Aviation. In 2019, he and retired NASA astronaut Terry Virts broke a world record for planes flying over the North and South Poles. His other adventure activities include visiting the South Pole twice and diving to 36,000 feet (almost 10,100 meters) in a submarine in 2021.
Victor Correa Hespanha
Victor Correa Hespanha, 28, was sponsored by the Crypto Space Agency, and identifies himself as the world’s first cryptonaut. He is a civil production engineer from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and will become the second Brazilian to fly in space, according to Blue Origin.
Jaison Robinson was a finalist on the TV show “Survivor: Samoa” in 2009. He later founded the commercial real estate company JJM Investments and co-founded Dream Variations Ventures with his wife Jamie. His adventure activities include skydiving, scuba diving, breaking the sound barrier in a Mig-29 jet, playing water polo at Stanford University and making Eagle Scout, according to Blue Origin.
Victor Vescovo is a co-founder of the private equity investment firm Insight Equity and a retired US Navy reservist and intelligence officer. His adventure activities include completing an ‘Explorer’s Grand Slam’, which involves skiing to the North and South Poles and climbing the highest mountains on the world’s seven continents, including Everest. Vescovo is also a commercially acclaimed multi-engine jet and helicopter pilot, as well as a certified underwater test pilot. Blue Origin says he has visited the Challenger Deep (the deepest point in the ocean) a dozen times.