May 28, 2024
Space

Blue Origin Reveals 6-Member Crew Of NS-25 Mission

America’s First Black Astronaut Candidate Is In

Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos, has unveiled the crew for its upcoming NS-25 mission. The mission is slated to mark a historic moment by including Ed Dwight, America’s first Black astronaut candidate.

The NS-25 mission will mark Blue Origin’s New Shepard programme’s seventh human flight and the 25th in its history. The programme has flown 31 humans above the Kármán line, signifying its contributions to suborbital space tourism.

The six-person crew of the NS-25 mission comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise.

Each astronaut will carry a postcard to space on behalf of Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which aims to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Ed Dwight: Born in 1933 in Kansas City, KS, Ed Dwight was selected by US President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to undergo training at the Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS), a prestigious US Air Force programme seen as a pathway to the NASA Astronaut Corps.

Though he completed the ARPS programme, he was not among those chosen for the NASA Astronaut Corps. Following a career as an entrepreneur, Dwight dedicated his life to sculpting iconic figures of Black history. His inclusion in the NS-25 mission marks a significant milestone in his journey toward space.

Mason Angel: Founder of Industrious Ventures, a venture capital fund supporting early-stage companies, Mason Angel is also active in philanthropy, particularly in advancing STEM education for children. His passion for adventure extends to skiing and hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

Sylvain Chiron: A lifelong aviator and entrepreneur, Sylvain Chiron founded Brasserie Mont Blanc, one of France’s largest craft breweries. His diverse experiences include serving in the French military and pursuing education and business ventures internationally.

Kenneth L. Hess: A software engineer and entrepreneur, Kenneth L. Hess is known for shaping the technology-based family history industry through his work on the Family Tree Maker product line. He founded Science Buddies, a nonprofit dedicated to improving STEM literacy among students, which has reached millions of users worldwide.

Carol Schaller: Despite facing the prospect of blindness, retired CPA Carol Schaller has embarked on remarkable adventures, travelling to numerous countries and experiencing diverse landscapes. Seeing Earth from space has been a lifelong dream for her.

Gopi Thotakura: A pilot and aviator with a wide range of flying experiences, Gopi Thotakura co-founded Preserve Life Corp, focusing on holistic wellness and applied health. His adventurous spirit has led him to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro and pursue various aviation endeavours.

In line with Blue Origin’s commitment to sustainability, 99% of New Shepard’s dry mass is reused, minimising environmental impact. The engine is fuelled by highly efficient liquid oxygen and hydrogen, with water vapour being the only byproduct during flight.

The flight date for NS-25 will be announced soon. It promises to be a milestone for space exploration, diversity, and inclusion in the aerospace industry.

Featured image: The six-member crew of the NS-25 mission. Credit: Blue Origin

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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