Michael Strahan had a tough time explaining his flight into space on Kent-based Blue Origin’s New Shepard even a couple of days after the trip.
“This whole experience was unreal!” Strahan tweeted on Dec. 13 about the 10-minute flight into space on Dec. 11 from West Texas with five other crew members. “I am still processing how to explain it all.”
Blue Origin successfully completed its third human spaceflight – the first with six astronauts on board. Each of the previous flights had four members. The astronaut manifest included Strahan, Laura Shepard Churchley, Evan Dick, Dylan Taylor, Cameron Bess and Lane Bess.
Strahan, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a former NFL star, was a guest on the flight of Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, also the founder of Amazon. Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of Alan Shepard, who was the first American to fly to space, was a second guest. The remaining four were paying members. Blue Origin has not revealed how much each of them paid.
“It’s almost like an out of body experience, it’s hard to even believe it happened,” Strahan told ABC News.
Strahan is a two-time Emmy award winner, Peabody award-winning journalist and Super Bowl champion, who in addition to his co-anchor job, hosts the top-rated prime time game show “$100,000 Pyramid.”
Strahan also serves as an analyst for “Fox NFL Sunday” and headlines the Thursday Night Football Pregame Show live from New York City. He played defensive end for the New York Giants from 1993 to 2007.
Strahan, as a crew member, received a stipend, which is being donated to The Boys & Girls Club.
Bezos gave Strahan a NFL football to take on the flight. Strahan also had his No. 92 Giants jersey with him on the trip.
Previous honorary guests on Blue Origin’s flights to space included William Shatner, the original Captain James T. Kirk in the 1966 television series “Star Trek,” who went into space Oct. 13. Bezos and his brother Mark Bezos were part of the company’s first human flight to space in July.
According to Blue Origin, this mission furthers the company’s vision of millions of people living and working in space for the benefit of Earth.
“We had a great flight today,” said Bob Smith, CEO Blue Origin, in a Dec. 11 email. “This was our sixth flight in what has been a great year for the New Shepard program. We flew 14 astronauts to space, flew a NASA payload flight that tested lunar landing sensors and completed our certification test flights. I want to thank our payload customers, our astronauts and, of course, Team Blue for these many important accomplishments. I am so proud to be part of this dedicated and hard-working team that ensures that each and every flight of New Shepard is safe and reliable. And it’s fun to say that this is just the beginning.”
Blue Origin is planning several crewed and payload flights in 2022.
The company employs more than 3,500 across the nation and more than 2,500 in Kent. The company opened in Kent in 2000 and expanded its headquarters in 2020 to a 236,000-square-foot blue-colored facility along 76th Avenue South between South 212th and South 228th streets.
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