Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin New Shephard NS-18 officially took off on the second-ever human flight to space on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. The flight was initially scheduled to start from Blue Origin’s launch facilities on October 12 but faced a 24-hour delay due to rough winds in the region.
The space flight carried a four-person crew including William Shatner, Audrey Powers, Chris Boshuizen and Glen De Vries. Blue Origin shared several pictures of the passengers as they waited in the astronaut village to embark on their journey.
The flight successfully passed the Karman Line after experiencing a short hold from the initial 8:30 am CT scheduled time and flew nearly 65 miles from Earth. The crew was allowed to unbuckle from their seats and float in the capsule after feeling the weightlessness of outer space.
The team remained in space for nearly 10 minutes before safely landing back on Earth. The flight also created history by making William Shatner the oldest person in the world to fly to space at 90 years old.
All about Blue Origin’s NS-18 crew members
Blue Origin’s second ever human flight to space carried a historic four-member crew. William Shatner successfully became the oldest man to fly to outer space. The 90-year-old is a popular Canadian actor best known for playing the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.
The two-time Emmy Award winner also appeared in other popular shows like T.J. Hooker, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Practice, and Boston Legal, among others. He was accompanied on the space flight by Audrey Powers, Chris Boshuizen and Glen De Vries.
Audrey Powers is the Vice President of Mission & Flight Operations at Blue Origin. According to WBAL-TV, she graduated from the Baltimore County School in 1994 and also attended the Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville.
She also earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University. She received her Juris Doctorate from the Santa Clara University School of Law in 2008. She worked as an engineer for 10 years before pursuing a career in law.
She joined Blue Origin in 2013 and previously served as the Vice President of the 'Legal & Compliance' department at the company. However, as part of her new role she is looking after flight operations and vehicle launches at New Shephard. She also oversees the infrastructure of launch, landing and ground support.
Meanwhile, Chris Boshuizen is an Australian physicist and engineer. He earned his doctorate degree from the University of Sydney and previously worked as a space mission architect in NASA’s Ames Research Centre.
The 44-year-old is the operating partner of DCVC and co-founder of Planet Labs. He also established Singularity University, an institution to study the consequences of growing technological advancements and created Phonesat, a project dedicated to "building nanosatellites using unmodified consumer-grade off-the-shelf smartphones."
He is another Blue Origin crew member to create history by becoming the third Australian to fly into space.
Lastly, Glen De Vries is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Medidata Solutions, a company for clinical trials of software. The organization serves as the most-used clinical research platform in the world. He is also the vice-chairman of life sciences and healthcare at Dassault Systèmes.
The four-member team was the world’s second set of tourists to fly into space. Blue Origin launched its first ever human space flight on July 20, 2021 and flew into outer space with founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, 18-year old student Oliver Daemen and 82-year-old NASA alum Willy Funk.