Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has launched its sixth touristic journey into suborbital space, helping the first woman to complete the Explorer’s Extreme Trifecta.
That honor includes reaching the highest point on earth, venturing into the deepest corner of the sea, and soaring into outer space – Victor Vescovo is the only other person to have completed all three.
Vanessa O’Brien, 57, scaled the summit of Mount Everest in 2012 and two years later, the British-American dived 35,843 feet to the Challenger Deep — the deepest known point on Earth’s sea floor.
The other five members of the mission are Sara Sabry and Mário Ferreira, who are now the first humans of Egyptian and Portuguese descent to fly into space. Also on the epic journey were Clint Kelly III, a former member of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Steve Young, the former owner of Florida’s largest communications company, and YouTube star Coby Cotton.
Launch was delayed by 20 minutes, leaving the crew anxiously waiting inside the capsule, but as the clock struck “zero” at 9:57 a.m. ET, a loud roar echoed through the desert as New Shepard ignited its seven engines . “God Speed Titanium Feather,” said a Blue Origin commenter, referring to the name the crew had given themselves.
Scroll down for videos
Vanessa O’Brien is the first woman to complete the Explorer Extreme Trifecta. She scaled the summit of Mount Everest in 2012
In 2020, the Brit-American dived 35,843 feet to the Challenger Deep — the deepest known point on Earth’s ocean floor. The final part of the Trifecta goes into outer space, which she crossed off the list
Max Q, the point at which an aerospace vehicle’s atmospheric flight reaches maximum dynamic pressure, was reached one minute and five seconds after liftoff as New Shepard flew more than 1,600 miles per hour.
And after two minutes and 31 seconds, the gleaming white crew capsule separated from the rocket and continued on its way into space.
The capsule soared 62 miles above the surface for about five minutes and then made a proud journey back to Earth.
Three red-and-white parachutes ejected from the capsule after eight minutes and 30 seconds, helping the vehicle glide back to the ground for a soft landing in the Texas desert.
Blue Origin’s sixth mission carried (left to right) Clint Kelly III, Sara Sabry, Mário Ferreira, Coby Cotton, Steve Young and Vanessa O’Brien to suborbital space
The New Shepperd rocket lifted off at 9:57 a.m. ET, after a 20-minute delay
The crew flew into space and hovered for five minutes before returning to Earth. Blue and white parachutes were released from the capsule to guide it for a soft landing
The crew can be heard from inside the pod yelling, “We’re not going to die,” along with others describing how sweaty they are from the epic adventure.
The ride lasted just 10 minutes and 27 seconds, but as one Blue Origin commenter said, “The experience will last a lifetime.”
Today’s mission also marks the 22nd launch of the New Shepard.
All six members received a special challenge coin shortly after arriving at the training center this morning.
Representing belonging and the achievement of something great, the coin is only given to astronauts who have passed the training and will be flying on a spacecraft.
The New Shepherd first stage landed safely back on the return pad before the capsule (rear) touched down in the Texas desert
The crew can be heard from inside the pod yelling, “We’re not going to die,” along with others describing how sweaty they are from the epic adventure
The team climbed the tower about 30 minutes before launch, each ringing a hanging silver bell before proceeding through a tunnel that reads “Light this candle” on their way to the launch pod.
And now, at 10:09 p.m. ET, the crew has wrapped up “one of the most amazing days of their lives.”
Each crew member is now considered an astronaut.
Cotton is best known for his YouTube sports channel, Dude Perfect, which has 57 million followers.
The channel started in 2009 when Cotton and his college roommates Garrett Hilbert, Tyler Toney, Cody Jones and his brother Cory Cotton started posting comedy videos and animation.
Cotton’s seat was sponsored by MoonDAO, which describes itself as “an international collective of people united by a mission to decentralize access to space research and exploration.”
Sabry, 29, is now the first Egyptian to go into space. Her company, Deep Space Initiative, is working to improve accessibility for space exploration.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the American University in Cairo and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano.
And Sabry’s seat is sponsored by Space for Humanity.
The journey took just 10 minutes and 27 seconds, but as one Blue Origin commentator said, “The experience will last a lifetime.” Today’s mission also marks the 22nd launch of the New Shepard
This nonprofit organization “serves purposeful leaders through a sponsored spaceflight experience to induce a profound shift in perspective, so that every citizen astronaut returns with a broader perspective to tackle our toughest challenges and their solutions.”
Ferreira, 54, the first person from Portugal to go into space, is an entrepreneur, investor and President of Pluris Investments Group.
According to Space.com, Ferreira spends his free time diving, running and taking part in a car rally called Dakar.
Sabry is now the first person of Portuguese descent, while Cotton could be considered the first YouTube star to visit the last frontier
Young told DailyMail.com that he paid for his place on the rocket. He is a businessman living in Florida. O’Brien made history Thursday by becoming the first woman to complete the Explorer Extreme Trifecta
O’Brien, 57, also made history on Thursday as the first woman to complete the Explorers’ extreme trifecta of reaching outer space.
She scaled the highest peak on earth, Mount Everest, and ventured into the deepest expanse of our planet – the Challenger Deep. And now the final part of the trifecta is their journey into space.
Kelly has been with DARPA since 1984 and is credited with developing early technologies that ushered in the autonomous vehicle era.
Kelly (left) is credited with pioneering the technology used in autonomous vehicles. Ferreira is the first person from Portugal to go into space, is an entrepreneur, investor and President of Pluris Investments Group
And Young, 59, a paying customer, is known for owning Florida’s largest telecommunications provider, Young’s Communications, or Y-com.
Young told DailyMail.com that he sold the company when it was making $100 million a year and it was acquired by Grain Management, which only buys companies worth $20 million to $150 million.
Young, who lives in Indialantic, also owns Pineapples, a restaurant, music venue and rooftop bar in Eau Gallie, Florida, which he opened just before selling Y-com.
NS-22 brings the total number of people flown into space by Blue Origin to 31 since the initial launch in July 2021, which brought Bezos himself to the final frontier.