After successfully blasting off founder Jeff Bezos to space and back, Blue Origin is ready for its next human space flight. The company announced the names of two people who will be onboard the next mission that is scheduled to take off on October 12 while holding back the names of the other two passengers from the prss release.
Blue Origin's first planned spaceflight was overshadowed by Richard Branson's trip aboard the Virgin Galactic, another company looking to offer space tourism services. However, in a dramatic turn of events, the latter finds its future flights suspended by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) after its first flight steered off-course during its descent.
The FAA is currently investigating if issues that led to the mishap will affect public safety, leaving the tourism 'space' open for Blue Origin to make its mark. In a press release, the company has announced two members of the upcoming flight.
Former NASA engineer and founder of Singularity University, Chris Boshuizen will "fulfill his greatest childhood dream" next month. As co-founder of the American private Earth-imaging company Planet Labs, also known as Planet, Boshuizen technically led Planet to become the first company to use nanosatellites commercially.
The other member hails from a clinical background. Glen de Vries is the founder of Medidata, a company that offers software for conducting clinical trials, which was bought by Dassault Systèmes, where he is currently Vice-Chair of Life Sciences and Healthcare.
There is suspense building up in the air after the entertainment website TMZ reported that William Shatner, the actor who played Captain Kirk in the popular science-fiction series Star Trek is a member of the upcoming mission. Blue Origin has said that it will announce the names of the other two members in the coming days. The company also hasn't specified whether these trips are paid for by the traveling parties or not.
Accompanying the passengers in the next launch will be thousands of postcards from Blue Origin's foundation: Club for the Future. Last month, we had covered how a New Shepard replica rocket is expected to be in stock for Christmas that will also feature these postcards that will fly aboard future missions of the company and be sent back to their owners with a stamp.
The lift-off is currently scheduled for 8:30 am CDT (13:30 UTC) from the company's Launch Site One in West Texas. The event will be live-streamed on the company's website from T-60 minutes, the press release said.