UPDATE: Kent-based Blue Origin announced that the crew flying on its upcoming NS-20 flight on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 will no longer include ‘Saturday Night Live’ star Pete Davidson.
However, it will include Blue Origin’s New Shepard Chief Architect Gary Lai, along with previously announced passengers Marty Allen, husband and wife duo Sharon and Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen, and Dr. George Nield.
This mission is the fourth human flight for the New Shepard program and the 20th in its history.
Davidson would have been Blue Origin’s third paid “celebrity” passenger, following William Shatner and Michael Strahan, who both rocketed off in 2021.
Live launch coverage is set to begin on BlueOrigin.com at T-60 minutes. Liftoff is currently targeted for 6:30 a.m. PDT / 13:30 UTC on Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2022 from Launch Site One in West Texas.
Each astronaut on board NS-20 will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, whose Postcards to Space program gives students access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets. The Club’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM for the benefit of Earth.
Blue Origin flights like this give paid passengers a few minutes of weightlessness above the Earth’s surface before the capsule parachutes and lands in the West Texas desert.
The Kent-based company did not disclose the ticket price paid by these customers.
Here’s the crew:
Pete Davidson joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2014. In 2020, he co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical film The King of Staten Island, which also earned a nomination for The Comedy Movie Star of 2020 at the 46th People’s Choice Awards. Pete also appeared in the 2021 film The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn.
Marty Allen is a turnaround CEO and angel investor. During his tenure as CEO of Party America, he transformed the company from a broken California retail chain into a large nationwide retailer, leading the company through a bankruptcy restructuring and the acquisition of several competitors. He is also the former CEO of California Closet Company, leading the company to record sales and profitability. Marty also mentors CEOs through his board activities.
Sharon Hagle founded SpaceKids Global in 2015, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire students to excel in STEAM+ education with a focus on empowering young girls. SpaceKids hosts several annual challenges designed to inspire kids to pursue careers in the space industry, including national essay competitions and a partnership with the Girl Scouts of Citrus County. SpaceKids also participates in Club for the Future’s Postcards to Space program. To date, Sharon has reached nearly 100,000 students globally.
Marc Hagle is president and CEO of Tricor International, a residential and commercial property development corporation. Under his direction, the company has developed and owned more than 17.4 million square feet of properties across the United States, including shopping centers, warehouses, medical facilities, recreational facilities, drug stores, and office projects. Marc and his wife, Sharon, are avid philanthropists for numerous arts, sciences, health, and education-related charities.
Jim Kitchen is a teacher, entrepreneur, and world explorer who has visited all 193 U.N.-recognized countries. He’s been a space dreamer since watching NASA’s Apollo rocket launches in Florida as a child. As a college student in the 1980s, he promoted low Earth orbit space trips for a startup. Since 2010, Jim has served on the faculty of University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, teaching students to create world-changing for-profit and nonprofit ventures.
Dr. George Nield
Dr. George Nield is the president of Commercial Space Technologies, LLC, which he founded to encourage, facilitate, and promote commercial space activities. He previously served as associate administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation and was responsible for licensing and regulating all commercial launch activities. Earlier in his career, he held engineering roles at the Air Force Flight Test Center and the Orbital Sciences Corporation, and he was an assistant professor and research director at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Dr. Nield also served as the manager of the Flight Integration Office for NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.