The 22nd overall mission and the sixth crewed launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is now scheduled for Aug. 4 at 9:30 AM ET. Blue Origin announced the launch date on its blog page, highlighting several NS-22 mission passengers as being the first amongst their heritages to enter space. The spacefaring firm also debuted the embedded patchwork designs that will be fastened to the crew’s spacesuits.
The NS-22 mission will include a total of six individuals: Sara Sabry, Vanessa O’Brien, Mário Ferreira, Coby Cotton, Clint Kelly III, and Steve Young. While none of them share much in common aside from being amongst the upcoming Blue Origin launch, they all add their own interesting spin to the event. An engineer by trade, Sabry will prove to be the first Egyptian to experience space firsthand, a momentous milestone not merely for her but for her entire country as well.
Sabry won’t be the only person amongst the crew who will be making strides for their country, as evidenced by Ferreira, who will similarly be the first Portuguese individual to enter space. Ferreira is a hotel and real estate entrepreneur, which vastly differs from his crew member Cotton, who runs the comedy and trickshot YouTube channel Dude Perfect. As for Young, he is an independent consultant in the telecom industry with a penchant for fishing, which is represented as the fish in the crew’s NS-22 patchwork.
O’Brien is a renowned adventurer who will be the first woman to cross the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, in addition to venturing into the Challenger Deep, known as the deepest part of the ocean on Earth, and reach the zenith of Mount Everest. The last and final member of the crew, Kelly III, is regarded as initiating the very technology that now is at the heart of self-driving cars. Kelly previously worked at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the 1980s, where he kickstarted the Autonomous Land Vehicle project.
The official patch for the NS-22 Blue Origin launch features several details that represent the six members of the voyage, like the aforementioned fish being representative of Young’s love for fishing. The Pyramids of Egypt are included as an obvious reference to Sabry and her Egyptian heritage. The patch’s inclusion of the Mariana Trench is a callback to O’Brien’s many various feats and accomplishments on earth – and now in space.
The NS-22 patch also features Magellan’s ship to commemorate Ferreira’s Portuguese background and a stagecoach to represent Kelly’s “aspirations for humanity’s reach into the new frontier of space.” Even Cotton’s love for basketball trick shots is represented in the crew capsule’s basketball-esque exterior. The West Texas mountains and even the New Shepard’s booster are also depicted with the tagline “For the benefit of Earth” penned at the bottom of the design.
Blue Origin’s NS-22 mission is scheduled for lift off to come Aug. 4, a mere two months and a day following the launch of NS-21 earlier this year. Blue Origin will be streaming the entire event starting 30 minutes before the official launch time of 9:30 AM ET, taking off from the firm’s Launch Site One.