New Blue Origin flight to include NFL legend, famed astronaut’s daughter

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The next time Blue Origin blasts into sub-orbital flight, its crew will include NFL-sack-leader-turned-morning-newsman Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, the daughter of the first American in space.

The company, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, announced this week that it would launch its NS-19 mission on Dec. 9 in West Texas.

Strahan and Churchley will fly as honorary members of the crew alongside a quartet of paying customers.

Strahan, formerly of the New York Giants and “Live with Kelly & Michael,” now spends his weekdays on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Strahan will donate the stipend he earns as part of the Blue Origin crew to The Boys & Girls Club.

“I am going to space!” Strahan tweeted. “Excited to be flying on @blueorigin’s #NewShepard rocket on December 9th.”

He later sent a tweet to Bezos that reads, “I was inspired by watching you!! Can’t wait.”

Churchley serves as Chair of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees, a foundation that promotes STEM and raises money for aspiring STEM students.

Her father, Alan Shepard, became the first American in space in 1961. Then, in 1971, he became just the fifth person to walk on the moon.

Churchley has long been an advocate for the work of her father, Alan Shepard, the namesake of the rocket upon which Blue Origin customers fly. NS is short for New Shepard.

Joining Strahan and Churchley will be Dylan Taylor, the CEO of a space exploration firm; Evan Dick, a former high-level capital management executive; Lane Bess, a venture capitalist and founder of cybersecurity companies; and Cameron Bess, Lane’s child. The Besses will become the first parent-child duo to travel into space.

Blue Origin rockets enter what is known as sub-orbital flight, which means the six travelers will enter space but remain in orbit around Earth.