On Saturday, Blue Origin — Jeff Bezos’ rocket company — sent Michael Strahan to space.
Strahan — a “Good Morning America” host and former New York Giants defensive end — was joined by multiple investors and the daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard on the brief mission.
CNN Business reported:
The group blasted off aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital space tourism rocket at 9:01 am CT from the company’s launch facilities near the rural town of Van Horn, Texas, where Bezos owns a sprawling ranch, and took a supersonic, 10-minute flight that reached more than 60 miles above the Earth’s surface before parachuting to a landing…
Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, whose father Alan Shepard went on a suborbital flight in 1961 and later walked on the moon, rode alongside investors Dylan Taylor, Evan Dick, and Lane Bess, as well as Bess’ adult child, Cameron Bess — all of whom were paying customers. Blue Origin said that Strahan and Shepard Churchley were “honorary guests,” much like the last celebrity Blue Origin sent to the edge of space, William Shatner, and did not have to pay their way.
This flight marks the first time that Blue Origin filled all six seats on its New Shepard rocket and capsule, which is named for Alan Shepard. On the company’s two previous flights — including the July flight that sent Bezos himself to space — only four of the seats were taken up.
Strahan brought his Super Bowl ring and retired Giants jersey aboard the vessel; meanwhile, Churchley carried a piece of the Freedom 7 capsule, as well as some of the golf balls that her father once hit on the surface of the moon.
In a video posted to social media, an elated Strahan said that the experience was “surreal.”
TOUCHDOWN has a new meaning now!!!
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) December 11, 2021
In October, Blue Origin sent William Shatner — who starred as Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” television series — to the edge of space, making him the oldest person in history to make the journey. “Everybody in the world needs to do this,” the Canadian actor told Bezos after the Blue Origin craft safely landed. “It was unbelievable.”
In July, Bezos journeyed to space alongside his brother, Mark; an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas; and an 18-year-old physics student from the Netherlands. However, Richard Branson narrowly edged out Bezos in becoming the first man to enter space in his own vessel.
Over the past several months, China and Russia have also been advancing their spacefaring capabilities.
A recent report stated that the Chinese military launched a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile that circumnavigated the planet before taking aim at its target. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley subsequently acknowledged the tests: “They’re expanding rapidly — in space, in cyber, and then in the traditional domains of land, sea, and air. And they have gone from a peasant-based infantry army that was very, very large in 1979 to a very capable military that covers all the domains and has global ambitions.”
Russia tested a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile that destroyed a Russian satellite — provoking criticism from other nations for creating a debris field in low-earth orbit.