Pete Davidson, a Saturday Night Live star and Kanye West’s new foe, will be sent into space by Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company Blue Origin later this month. The crew for Blue Origin’s forthcoming NS-20 mission, which will take off from Launch Site One in West Texas on March 23, was revealed today. Marty Allen, Sharon and Marc Hagle, Jim Kitchen, and Dr. George Nield will be among the comedian’s five other crew members.
According to Gizmodo, Blue Origin is keeping quiet about the cost of a ticket to ride on New Shepard (it’s likely in the millions of thousands), but Davidson is supposedly flying for free as an “honorary guest.” This will be the fourth human suborbital trip for Blue Origin. In July 2021, the first human flight took launched, with Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, his brother, and veteran pilot Wally Funk on board. A number of notable figures have joined their ranks since then, including Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner.
The flight is expected to last around 11 minutes. The crew will travel almost three times the speed of sound onboard a New Shepard launch vehicle to pass the Kármán Line at 100 kilometers (62 miles) above Earth’s surface, where it will detach from the reusable rocket and hover weightless for several minutes. The crew will use a parachute connected to their spacecraft to return to Earth, while the rocket will make a vertical touchdown on the ground. Davidson has made headlines for a number of high-profile relationships, but he first rose to prominence as a comic on the US late-night show SNL.
When Elon Musk presented the program in May 2021, Davidson’s character Chad portrayed the role of a SpaceX astronaut on Mars in a weird case of art mimicking life. Unfortunately for Chad, the imaginary space voyage ended in a depressurization disaster and an exploding cranium. Let’s hope the Blue Origin mission this month goes a little better.
William Shatner, the renowned Star Trek actor, became the oldest person to travel to space this week, and no matter how you feel about space tourism, you can understand his genuine awe at being able to gaze back at our home planet. Of course, being William Shatner, his comments varied from profound to amusing. On Wednesday, Shatner flew into space atop the Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin New Shepherd rocket on its second-ever crewed mission to space, after Bezos’ own flight in July.
The journey took a total of 10 minutes and 17 seconds. The four-person team flew to a height of 107 kilometers (66 miles), experienced microgravity, and then descended to the Texas desert, where they were greeted with champagne by Bezos. You may observe his and the others’ reactions to weightlessness and the perspective of Earth in a brief video published by Blue Origin. The legendary actor can be heard repeatedly repeating, “Oh wow.” “No description can compare to this weightlessness,” he adds, laughing deeply. Shatner, who turned 90 in March and broke Wally Funk’s record of being the oldest person in space at 82, called travelling to the edge of space “the most profound experience I can imagine.”