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Bezos' Blue origin targets May 20 for next space tourist flight

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San Francisco, May 15 (IANS) Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin is targeting May 20, to launch its fifth tourist flight to space.

NS-21 is expected to lift off from Launch Site One in West Texas at 8:30 a.m. CDT, the company said in a statement.

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NS-21 will fly six customer astronauts. The crew includes investor and NS-19 Astronaut Evan Dick; electrical engineer and former NASA test lead Katya Echazarreta; business jet pilot and Action Aviation Chairman Hamish Harding; civil production engineer Victor Correa Hespanha; adventurer and Dream Variation Ventures co-founder Jaison Robinson; and explorer and co-founder of private equity firm Insight Equity Victor Vescovo, Commander, USN (Ret.).

Echazarreta will become the first Mexican-born woman and youngest American woman to fly to space, while Hespanha will be the second Brazilian to fly to space.Blue Origin also released the NS-21 mission patch.

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The patch concept came from Dick, who said reaching space in the crew capsule on NS-19 felt like climbing above the surface of the ocean after a lifetime of living below the surface.

Additionally, several of the NS-21 astronauts have journeyed to the depths of the oceans and are passionate about the Earth’s waters. The five stars around the crew capsule represent Blue Origin’s fifth human flight.

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The arrow symbolises Blue Origin’s astronaut pin to celebrate Dick’s second flight on New Shepard, and the lighting bolt represents Echazarreta’s passion for electricity and her mission to increase representation of women and minorities in STEM.

The circle on Harding represents the accomplishment of setting the global circumnavigation record by plane. In 2021, he dived the Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the world, with Vescovo in a two-person submarine.

The diamond with the circle represents Brazil’s flag in honour of Hespanha’s heritage. The water drop honours Robinson’s passion for diving, water polo, and climbing the tallest waterfall in the world.

The triangle represents a mountain, paying homage to Vescovo’s feat of climbing the world’s seven summits. In 2020, he became the first person to repeatedly dive Challenger Deep (now 12 times) and is the first person to visit the deepest point in the world’s five oceans.

The typical 11-minute flight will carry the crew members far above the Karman line — an internationally recognised boundary of space that lies 62 miles (100 km) above the Earth’s surface.

The company conducted its fourth human flight to the edge of space with six people in March.

–IANS

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