Blue Origin’s New Shepard Logs Sixth Suborbital Passenger Mission

New Shepard takes off.
Credit: Blue Origin

HOUSTON—Blue Origin’s sixth crewed New Shepard suborbital mission took off early Aug. 4 from the company’s flight operations center in West Texas.

A professionally and personally diverse international crew of three woman and three men were aboard, including the first space travelers from Egypt and Portugal.

The reusable rocket lifted off from Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas, at 9:57 a.m. EDT.

The planned launch was delayed by 27 min. due to overnight storms at the launch site, and a second hold at the launch minus 15 min. point.

The crew capsule separated from the New Shepard, rising on its own above the 62-mi. altitude Karman line that designates the border between the Earth’s atmosphere and space, though the precise apogee reached by the capsule during the launch was not immediately available.

“Guys we are doing it,” more than one of the six fliers could be heard shouting during the ascent.

The capsule with its six passengers touched down under three parachutes and a brief burst of thrust to cushion the landing 10 min., 20 sec. after liftoff.

The capsule was greeted quickly by ground personnel and the hatch opened at 10:18 a.m. EDT. The fliers stepped out looking fit and enthusiastic.

The flight was the 22nd for a New Shepard rocket, the sixth with passengers since July 20, 2021, and the third with passengers this year.

The NS-22 made a vertical-powered touchdown 7 min., 25 sec. after liftoff on a desert landing pad.

According to Blue Origin, the Titanium Feather crew launching aboard the sixth crewed flight of a New Shepard were:

—Sara Sabry, an Egyptian mechanical and biomedical engineer. Sabry is the founder and executive director of Deep Space Initiative (DSI), a nonprofit established to increase accessibility for space research. Flying under the sponsorship of the nonprofit Space for Humanity, Sabry is pursuing a doctorate in aerospace sciences with a focus on spacesuit design.

—Mário Ferreira, a Portuguese entrepreneur, investor and president of the Pluris Investments Group. His passions include scuba diving, running and race car driving.

—Coby Cotton, a co-founder of Dude Perfect, the popular YouTube sports channel. His flight was sponsored by MoonDAO, an organization working to decentralize access to space.

—Vanessa O’Brien, a British-American who has added spaceflight to a personal resume that includes the first women to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the deepest region of the Earth’s oceans, the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. She is an advocate for women’s equality and climate change.

—Clint Kelly, formerly with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Kelly is credited with starting the development of the technologies making driverless cars possible. Kelly is also a wildlife advocate.

—Steve Young, the former CEO of Young’s Communications LLC. An avid fisherman, Young serves as governor of the board at Eau Gallie Yacht Club of Indian Harbor Beach, Florida, and a Space Coast Coastal Conservation Association committee member. He is also the owner of Pineapples, a Melbourne, Florida, restaurant.


Mark Carreau

Mark is based in Houston, where he has written on aerospace for more than 25 years. While at the Houston Chronicle, he was recognized by the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation in 2006 for his professional contributions to the public understanding of America's space program through news reporting.