The hatch closes to the New Shepard spacecraft
All six members of the Blue Origin NS-19 crew are now inside the New Shepard spacecraft, the RSS First Step, with the hatch closed.
The crew begins the entry of the New Shepard spacecraft
The six-member NS-19 crew is beginning to enter the New Shepard spacecraft.
The crew begins to climb the launch tower
The six-member NS-19 Blue Origin crew is beginning to climb the launch tower toward the New Shepard spacecraft.
The crew of the NS-19 arrives at the launch pad
The NS-19 crew is now at Blue Origin Launch Pad One in Van Horn, Texas, preparing to board the New Shepard spacecraft for launch.
Crew driving to launch pad
All six of the NS-19’s crew, including “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan, are now heading for the launch pad. Also on one of the vehicles is Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, who flew into space on July 20 as part of the debut crew launch, called the NS-16.
Crew emerges from training center
The crew of the NS-19 has just left the training center to enter their vehicle that will transport them to the launch pad.
New Shepard system on the platform before the launch of the NS-19
The Blue Origin broadcast showed a morning view of the New Shepard system ready on the platform, ahead of the planned takeoff of the NS-19 mission later this morning.
Here’s a picture of the commemorative mission coin that the NS-19 crew will take to space. Includes images of the Blue Origin symbol (a feather) and the New Shepard rocket.
Key moments to watch out for before launch
Key moments in today’s countdown to launch:
- T-54 minutes, ceremony during which the crew receives commemorative coins.
- T-45 minutes, the crew leaves the Astronaut Training Center and moves to the launch tower.
- T-33 minutes, the astronauts will load into the crew capsule.
- T-24 minutes, close the capsule hatch.
- T-10 minutes, Terminal Count Ready Mission Control Report.
Robert Pearlman of collectSPACE on site
Longtime Space.com contributor Robert Pearlman of collectSPACE reports live from Van Horn.
Here is your first report on Twitter from the launch site: “Good morning from the launch site one, where there is a #NewShepard rocket on the platform and a chill in the air! Launch preparations are underway for an 8:45 am CST liftoff with the # NS19 crew. @BlueOrigen“
Tribute to Glen de Vries
Blue Origin posted a short tribute video (available below) for Glen de Vries, a participant in the company’s NS-18 spaceflight with “Star Trek” star William Shatner. De Vries died in a plane crash in November.
Weather is good for launch
The Blue Origin webcast just said that the weather is looking good for the launch.
The Blue Origin webcast is live
The Blue Origin live launch webcast for today’s NS-19 New Shepard mission has begun. You can see it in the window at the top of this page.
Meet the crew of the Blue Origin NS-19
Blue Origin has released a new video showing New Shepard’s NS-19 team and you can watch it here.
The NS-19 mission will launch Good Morning America host and former NFL star Michael Strahan on a suborbital journey with five crewmates, including Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of the late Alan Shepard, one of the Mercury 7 astronauts of NASA that was the first American. to fly in space and then walked on the moon.
“I feel a bit like I’m following in my father’s footsteps,” Churchley says in the video.
“The moment I decided I’d be willing to go was here,” says Strahan, referring to when he covered Blue Origin’s first crewed launch with Jeff Bezos on board for Good Morning America earlier this year. “Seeing Jeff and Mark Bezos completely changed my mind. It was incredible.”
Dylan Taylor, one of four paying passengers, says that going into space has been a lifelong dream, while another passenger, Evan Dick, says that he looked forward to working in the aerospace industry when he was younger and that he is regaining the time wasted on this flight. .
The father-son duo of Lane and Cameron Bess, also paying passengers, round out the crew.
“When it came true, I approached the family and said ‘Who wants to go?’ and the only person who raised his hand was Cameron, “says Lane. “We don’t think so much about being a father and son as we are thinking about an opportunity to experience it together.”
“It is certainly an honor to be one of the first LGBTQ + people in the space,” says Cameron, who is pansexual, in the video. “You know I’m a hero now. I didn’t really work to go into space, but I think the visibility I’m giving that community is valuable.”
It’s Blue Origin NS-19 launch day
It is the launch day of Blue Origin’s NS-19 mission aboard New Shepard, which will take off in 9:45 am EST (1445 GMT) to take Good Morning America host and former NFL player Michael Strahan and five others on a suborbital journey into space.
All six of the New Shepard’s crew are at Blue Origin Launch Site One near Van Horn, Texas, for today’s launch. They stay at the Blue Origin Astronaut Village, where their flight has been delayed since December 9 due to high winds and weather.
Blue Origin webcast start 8:15 am EST (1315 GMT) and you can see it in the feed above.
Flying aboard the New Shepard vehicle with Strahan will be:
- Laura Shepard Churchley, 74, the eldest daughter of NASA astronaut Alan Shepard. Shepard was the first NASA astronaut to fly into space, and the New Shepard spacecraft is named after him.
- Dylan Taylor, 51, president and CEO of the space exploration company Voyager Space, founder of the nonprofit Space for Humanity and co-founder of the Federation of Commercial Space Flight.
- Evan Dick, age undisclosed, engineer and investor who is a volunteer pilot for Starfighters Aerospace.
- Lane Bess, age undisclosed, director and founder of a technology-focused venture fund called Bess Ventures and Advisory.
- Cameron Bess, age undisclosed, who is Lane’s daughter. They stream a variety of content on Twitch under the alias MeepsKitten.
We will have live coverage of the countdown and launch here.