Blue Origin’s NS-25 flight patch with symbols representing the six crew members. COURTESY IMAGE, Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s NS-25 flight patch with symbols representing the six crew members. COURTESY IMAGE, Blue Origin

Kent-based Blue Origin’s seventh human flight set for May 19

New Shepard-25 will launch from West Texas

Kent-based Blue Origin has scheduled its seventh human flight, New Shepard-25, for lift off on Sunday, May 19 from Launch Site One in West Texas.

Blue Origin announced the flight time on Tuesday, May 14. The launch window opens at 8:30 a.m. Central Daylight Time or 6:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

The six-member crew, announced in April, includes:

• Ed Dwight: A former U.S. Air Force Capt. who was selected by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate but was never granted the opportunity to fly to space.

• Mason Angel: The founder of Denver, Colorado-based Industrious Ventures, a venture capital fund supporting early-stage companies that enable or progress new industrial revolutions.

• Sylvain Chiron: The founder of the Brasserie Mont Blanc, one of the largest craft breweries in France.

• Kenneth L. Hess: Founder of California-based Science Buddies, a K-12 nonprofit created to level the playing field and improve STEM literacy by inspiring students through free, personalized, hands-on projects in all areas of science, including space exploration.

• Carol Schaller: A retired certified public accountant. In 2017, her doctor told her she would likely go blind. She has since traveled to 25 countries around the world. Seeing Earth’s thin layer of atmosphere in the blackness of space will fulfill a lifelong dream.

• Gopi Thotakura: Co-founder of Preserve Life Corp, a global center for holistic wellness and applied health located near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

While Dwight’s flight is sponsored, the others paid a fee after filling out an application. Blue Origin does not release the price paid by crew members.

Blue Origin released its NS-25 mission patch. A few of the symbols embedded include:

• The Gemini spacecraft represents Ed Dwight’s aerospace training era. The hand lifting the crew capsule is a nod to his extensive artwork.

• The sunrise represents Mason Angel and Carol Schaller’s desire to experience the overview effect.

• The mountains symbolize Carol Schaller, Gopi Thotakura and Sylvain Chiron’s passion for climbing and skiing.

• The crew capsule’s leaf design reflects the groundbreaking family heritage software Kenneth L. Hess developed.

To date, the program has flown 31 humans above the Kármán line, which is about 62 miles above mean sea level that borders Earth’s atmosphere and considered by many the beginning of space. The flight takes about 10 minutes.

Blue Origin opened in 2000 in Kent. The company is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.


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