Football star and TV celebrity Michael Strahan hurtled toward space with Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Saturday, sharing the ride with the daughter of America’s first astronaut.
The co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and former New York Giant had a football with him as Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas on the planned 10-minute flight. Two VIP guests, four paying customers and the capsule were carried by the crew. The capsule was targeted for an altitude somewhere around 66 mi (106 kilometers).
It was expected to be five minutes and 50 miles (187 kilometers) shorter than Alan Shepard’s Mercury flight from Cape Canaveral on May 5, 1961. Laura Shepard Churchley was his eldest daughter. She also brought along some of his Freedom 7 capsule, mementos of the Apollo 14 moonshot, and golf balls to honor her father, who once smacked some of them on the lunar surface.
Bezos — who saw the six off from the launch and landing complex near Van Horn — named his company’s New Shepard rocket after him.
Strahan brought his Super Bowl Ring and the newly retired No. The ride was covered in Strahan’s Super Bowl ring as well as his newly retired No.92 jersey. Bezos brought a football along that will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This is Blue Origin’s third passenger flight. Bezos founded Amazon six years prior to Blue Origin’s debut launch. The second, in October, included actor William Shatner — Captain James Kirk of TV’s original “Star Trek.”
This time, the reusable and automated capsule proved to be very popular. There were now six pilots instead of just four.
Blue Origin had originally planned to launch on Thursday, but the high winds forced an extension.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. All content remains the responsibility of the Associated Press.