“Woohoo! We’re not gonna die,” one of the passengers on Blue Origin’s NS-22 space sightseeing mission could be heard shouting on the mission’s live stream today (August 4). “Our poor families!
Shortly after landing in the West Texas desert – and not dying – the crew of blue origin sixth crewed spaceflight sat down to describe the experience.
blue origin New Shepard Vehicle carried six passengers on an approximately 10-minute flight today, including several minutes in suborbital space. Even those brief minutes were enough to change the lives of the passengers forever.
“It was more than I can put into words. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be so moving,” said mechanical and biomedical engineer Sara Sabry, the first person in Egypt to reach space. Sabry is also the founder of the Deep Space Initiative (DSI), a non-profit organization aimed at increasing accessibility for space research.
“I couldn’t stop crying. It was just out of control,” Sabry added. “It was just beautiful. And the thing, I think, the feeling that I felt the most about all of this is that I think everyone on Earth needs to experience this. Every person needs to see that, because everyone should be able to see that.”
“All I can think of is that these were the funniest 12 minutes of my life, really,” said Coby Cotton, one of the founders of popular YouTube channel Dude Perfect. “To just be there to see, like, Earth that way I felt so small in a really cool way.”
Cotton added that he intended to use the flight to film content for his YouTube channel, but forgot all about it once the capsule entered space.
“I had all these plans, with all the YouTube stuff, to do stunts at the top,” Cotton said. “I brought these little ping-pong paddles. Marty [Mário Ferreira] and I was going to play ping-pong, and Steve and I were going to shoot a little mini-hoop basketball, and they didn’t leave my pockets. I mean, all I wanted to do was look out and just float. And I wouldn’t trade it. It was amazing.”
Never changed. #NS22 pic.twitter.com/UWrtHLiHrHAugust 4, 2022
Entrepreneur and investor Ferreira, the first person from Portugal to reach space, said he was “very surprised” by the altitude the New Shepard capsule was able to reach. “I expected to see some curvature of the Earth and black, but it was black, much darker.” Ferreira added that it was “an incredible experience, and worth the wait 18 years, as I have waited.”
Technology pioneer Clint Kelly III, credited with pioneering the development of today’s driverless cars, said the experience made him think back to the history of human exploration.
“I was hit by it like everyone else,” Kelly said. “The transition from blue to purple to black. And when that happened I realized I was in a new place. So I was at the entrance to the new frontier. So it must have been equivalent to the feeling some of my ancestors felt in the 1700s when they stood alone Karman linewhich was Appalachia looking into the new frontier, which became the state of Kentucky.”
Not all passengers were so talkative. “I’ve asked you all to impress me, and you have impressed me,” said telecommunications manager Steve Young. “I had, obviously, a very emotional touch, and I’ll leave it at that.”
For author and explorer Vanessa O’Brien, the experience got her thinking about how humanity is entering a new phase of exploration through commercial space launch providers like Blue Origin. “If you wanted to go into space before, you would have been training for it for decades; you might have gone into the military or had to go in a different way. But with the private space industry changing and disrupts the space industry, millions of people will be able to live and work in space, thanks to people like Blue Origin making this possible.”
The flight of NS-22 also had symbolic meaning for several passengers aboard the New Shepard capsule. For Sabry, the brief spaceflight represented a historic moment for his nation. “I was thinking – like, I was stopping for a moment and really trying to look out the window and think I was taking all of Egypt with me.”
“I knew a lot of Egyptians were watching right now, and I was like, OK, so now they’re going into space…for the very first time in history,” Sabry added.
For O’Brien, who carried the United Nations’ women’s flag (opens in a new tab) with her in space, the flight served as a symbol to advance gender equality around the world. “This UN Women flag represents women around the world regardless of nationality, race, religion, and it’s for any woman who wants to go fiercely forward step by step. And it’s The motto of Blue Origin. So UN Women also supports that and wants every woman to be in a better place. And I’m very proud to have this flag with me today.”